Better Holiday 2020

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Source: BrokerMetrics LLC, Closed Sales Volume, Residential Properties, Chicagoland, 10-1-19 to 9-30-20

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N 1 Ëš CHICAGOLAND 12.0% Baird & Warner 7.1% Coldwell Banker Realty 6.8% Compass 5.6% Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago 3.8%

Market Share by Sales Volume

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On Location at Montage Healdsburg

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The lush tapestry of Sonoma wine country welcomes a new arrival. Tucked away within 258 acres of rolling vineyards, Montage Healdsburg invites guests to share stories and break bread under a canopy of centuries-old oaks. Here, time is measured not in minutes, but in moments. Where loved ones cozy up in contemporary, bungalow-style guestrooms. And cherished rituals— from grape to glass and garden to table—celebrate nature’s wonders. Discover the alluring charm of Healdsburg and savor Sonoma wine country the way it was meant to be.

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Advice on Securing Your Family’s Financial Future It’s November. We are nine months into the pandemic, and many of us are still spending a significant amount of time at home. We’ve baked bread, cleaned out our closets, and tended our gardens. But while your living space may be tidier than it has been in years, how neat are your financial affairs? Sure, you’re watching what’s happening in the stock markets, bemoaning your low-interest savings accounts, and maybe considering refinancing a loan. But have you addressed your financial life to ensure that no harm is done against your family? How do you even know what may lie hidden in the future? Are you making the gigantic mistake almost everyone makes: focusing on one limited area of your financial plan, usually your portfolio, and neglecting other areas of your financial life?

fraud, hacking, and overpaying taxes. Equally important is that it has saved family members hours of time and enormous stress when trying to find the passwords, account numbers, and contact information needed to manage finances at times of illness or death. In my experience, there are three common yet easily fixed mistakes that many people make.

In reality, there are other things that can be far more damaging to your well-being than missing a few basis points of performance. The great advisor knows that your portfolio is one small sliver of a larger group of strategies and decisions that need to be carefully assessed, then navigated thoroughly.

Protection at Home Keep your software, operating system, and browsers up to date. Security updates are included with most upgrades, and reputable antivirus products can inoculate your devices against malware. Check that your email provider includes security features in its service.

The aviation industry uses preflight checklists to ensure that pilots consider potential dangers. The checklists include all the tasks that need to be completed prior to takeoff. The purpose is to make sure that no important safety measures are forgotten.

Protection Away from Home You should avoid the use of public Wi-Fi to limit possible hacking. However, if you must use public Wi-Fi hotspots (coffee shops, airports, hotels, etc.), be sure to use a virtual private network (VPN) or use your mobile network to create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot with your phone.

I have applied this concept to my financial advisory practice. It has worked to help protect all my clients from losing wealth through identity

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Mistake #1: Weak Cybersecurity You’ve heard it a million times: passwords should be strong; don’t use the same username and password across multiple websites and applications; and be cautious when opening emails and texts from unknown senders. But there are other ways to reduce your exposure to identity theft, online scams, malware, and fraud.

Don’t use publicly available charging cords or USB ports. They can deliver malware onto or

steal data from your phone. Power outlets are generally fine, but don’t use someone else’s cord or port. Protection Online Think twice, then a third time before you share any personal information over the phone, in email or via text message—especially if you did not initiate the contact. Use a password manager. These apps create unique, complex passwords for you and encrypt those passwords to store them safely. You can also set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) to log in to any website or application that you use for financial transactions or that contains your personal data. Morgan Stanley has some great MFA options. Create bookmarks for the important banking and brokerage websites that you visit often to avoid inadvertently entering your credentials on a fraudulent site and exposing yourself to identity theft. Change your home network (Wi-Fi) router’s factory-default username and password to something private. Protect What You Share Limit what you share on social media, and lock down the privacy settings on your accounts. The more information you put out there, the more easily someone can gather that information for fraud schemes, like calling you and pretending to be a family member who needs money wired somewhere.

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probate. On top of dealing with her grief, she had limited cash to manage daily expenses.

Load apps only from a reputable source like Google Play™ or the App Store® and give applications only the permissions they really need. The more times you grant access to your photos, location, camera, and contacts, the more you undermine your privacy. Most importantly, monitor your existing lines of credit for fraudulent activity by leveraging one of the reputable credit and identity theft monitoring services. Mistake #2: Avoiding Estate Planning One of my clients was going into the hospital. Before she was admitted, we went through my Standard of Care Checklist and realized that her power of attorney was stored with her lawyer, who was deceased. We tracked down the law firm, got the document, found that it was unsigned, and fixed the problem. Because of my checklist, we were prepared; we had all the necessary documents in hand in case they were needed. My Standard of Care Checklist is what I use to ensure that clients get my best thinking, nothing is overlooked, and they are properly prepared for challenges and opportunities at each stage of their lives. Here are some of the items you can consider for yourself: • Do you have an advance medical directive and durable power of attorney for medical and financial decisions for adults and children? • Are your will, executor, and durable power of attorney up to date?

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• •

Is an irrevocable living trust, which protects assets from the impact of taxes, right for you? Do you have an established and communicated strategy for determining if and when a transition to a continuing-care facility is needed? Mistake #3: Disorganized or Nonexistent Documentation

We all live complex lives that we’ve organized in a way that makes sense to ourselves. But what happens if someone needs to step in to handle the bills or bank accounts for a period of time? My client’s husband got stuck overseas because of the coronavirus, and she had to pay the bills and manage the bank accounts. It took so much time to find the passwords, account numbers, and contact information. Now everything is safely and securely documented in one place. Here are some items from the safety and documentation section of my Standard of Care Checklist. Take these steps now, before it’s urgent: • Collect next of kin/family contact permissions and list of professional advisors. • Collect records of computer files and passwords, photos of personal property, inventory of vehicles, and confirmation of financing and ownership. If this seems overwhelming, please do just one thing: get your estate planning documents updated and stored in a safe and accessible place. You don’t want to be like my client’s mother who, when her husband died, found that all of the financial accounts were frozen until after

Remember this saying from Ben Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Think how great it will feel to avoid missing something in your financial life that could come back to haunt you in the future. If you want to learn more about any of these topics, please call me at (312) 443-6500, email me at, or visit our website, The Roeser Barbanente Group. Kathy Roeser is a Wealth Advisor at The Roeser Barbanente Group at Morgan Stanley in Chicago. Views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Morgan Stanley. Kathy Roeser is a Managing Director and Wealth Advisor with the Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Chicago. The information contained in this column is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management or its affiliates. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, member SIPC.

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Chicago has a problem with gun violence—Arne Duncan has a solution How Chicago CRED is working with shooters to stop the shooting.


Forces for Change Get to know five Chicagoans who are making our city—and the world— a better place.


The Giving Season Tis’ the season to give back, and we have a comprehensive list of deserving nonprofits in the area.


SPACES Take a peek inside an Oak Park remodel, where the kitchen is the heart of this historic home.

Currents Festive light displays, holiday desserts to-go, building a sustainable wardrobe, and tips for organizing your family office.


Shop Local The best gifts that support small business owners, help others and best of all, bring joy to your family and friends from afar.



Calendar A look at what’s happening this holiday season — virtually or distanced.




14 View from the Team 71 Better Makers 74 Reflections

On the Cover: Learn the story behind our cover at Editor’s Note: In our last issue, we incorrectly spelled Med Men, our Best of 2020 Cannabis Dispensary (Suburbs), name. We apologize for the misspelling.

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Holiday Traditions We talk food and family with Yugen chef Mari Katsumura.

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Administration CIVIC DEVELOPMENT Sharon Krone CONTROLLER Maeve Walsh TECHNICAL ADVISOR Jennifer Speaker

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C e l e b ra t i n g 4 5 Ye a rs O n T h e N o r t h S h o re ! Escape cabin fever, get out and explore everything the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort has to offer. Enjoy 175 acres of outdoor winter fun plus luxurious accommodations, farm-fresh dining, and refreshing indoor pool. Make your next adventure Simply Spectacular with uniquely tailored getaway packages. • Igloo Dining Experience: Enjoy lunch, appetizers, dinner, and drinks in one of our festive outdoor igloos • Ultimate Holiday Experience: Package includes deluxe accommodations, early check-in, late check-out, gingerbread making, and breakfast for four • Wine and Paint Package: Includes deluxe accommodations, everything you need to paint your canvas, a bottle of wine, and a cheese board for two • Outdoor recreation including hiking and snowshoeing


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Founder’s Note

Finding Better Together As we go to press with the turmoil of the election behind us and promising news of a vaccine on the horizon, it feels safe to say the worst of 2020 is over. We breathe a collective sigh of relief and launch the healing work needed to Come Together again, better and stronger than ever. Covid-19 may stifle some of our traditional holiday plans, but we still have much to celebrate this season. Spotlighting the individuals and organizations who leaned in to face the year’s many challenges head on seemed the best place to start. The 200 Better Makers featured on the cover poignantly demonstrate Chicagoland’s “can do” spirit in the face of seemingly impossible hardship. Beginning on page 34, we tell the stories of six of 2020’s most impactful Forces for Change, individuals making a difference in the city and suburbs and giving us reasons to feel inspired and hopeful for the future. While the pandemic has put a damper on some of our favorite ways to celebrate the season, many of our favorite traditions—cooking, gift-giving, and giving back—are not canceled. In the pages ahead you’ll find our annual holiday gift guide (p. 25), the year’s best cookbooks (p. 31), ways to see the lights around Chicago and suburbs (p. 19), and our Guide to Giving (p. 44). These pages are packed with ways to keep your traditions alive while supporting local businesses and the community you love.

Peculiar to this inflection point in the economy, now is also a wise time for many families to give greater thought to their financial future. On page 23, you’ll find advice and questions to consider in discussions of family assets and transition plans. Having these important conversations gives families opportunities to share stories and values while listening to the hopes and dreams of loved ones. These connecting conversations can help to establish a more meaningful legacy than actual finances do. Now more than ever, with the world changing by the minute, you will find our most timely and robust content online. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to our Better Letter email newsletter at and follow us on your favorite social networks. We’re very grateful to you, our readers, for your continuing interest in and support of Better. We hope that we help you put the trials of 2020 behind you as you celebrate the holidays and ring in 2021—and the promise of better days—with hope. As always, we welcome you to email us with your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns. We wish you and yours happy holidays and great joy in 2021. Susan Noyes, Publisher; @SusanBNoyes

How the Better team is celebrating the holidays this year Susan B. Noyes, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Yearning for more family time like this!

Brooke McDonald, Editor in Chief We’ll miss the annual Mag Mile Lights Festival Parade this year, but we’ll still make the trip to Michigan Avenue—and some of our other favorite spots like Morton Arboretum and Brookfield Zoo—to see the lights.

Sharon Krone, Civic Development We are looking forward to carving turkey with family in Waterford, Virginia (home to Village Winery) and recreating a past family photo in Steamboat Springs, Colorado over Christmas break.

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FAMILY PHILANTHROPY PRESENTED BY BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANK Welcome and Gratitude • Susan B. Noyes, Founder and Publisher, Make It Better Media Group Keynote Presentation: Bank of America Private Bank Giving Season 2020 : A call to action for Philanthropists • Misti Sangani, Senior Philanthropic Strategist, Bank of America Private Bank • Ramsay Slugg, Wealth Strategies Advisor, Bank of America Private Bank • Patricia Chavez, Philanthropic Market Executive, Bank of America Private Bank



Philanthropy Guest Panel: Moderated panel discussion led by Susan B. Noyes • Celena Roldan, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Tiffany Circle • Shoshana Buchholz-Miller, Executive Director, Cradles to Crayons • Shelley Patenaude, President, Founders’ Board, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Giving Back with Loro Piana Loro Piana is proud to support National Philanthropy Day • Guests are invited to a charity shopping event November 19th – December 1st • Loro Piana will donate 10% of proceeds in store to American Red Cross Tiffany Circle, Cradles to Crayons Chicago, and Lurie Children’s Hospital

AND BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR PAST ONLINE VIRTUAL EVENTS: Green River Financial: The Future of Sustainable Investing Webinar: How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint While Growing Your Portfolio College Cash Solutions: The Secrets to Reducing Your College Costs

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New in Town


West Loop watering hole that oozes Old Chicago. Affectionately dubbed “GG’s,” guests can enjoy a cocktail in the 2,500sq. ft. lounge, reserve a live music experience, and even participate in monthly masterclass events. Patio seating is first come, first serve. 773.398.9153 858 W Lake St, Chicago

Towne & Oak

It’s impossible to predict what sort of restrictions local businesses will face this winter. At time of writing, these new spots were open for business, but by press time indoor dining had been suspented. Local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, so we’re highlighting the offerings these new businesses are committed to bringing their customers when it’s safe to do so.

FOOD & DRIN K Towne & Oak Looking for a new hangout? Offering a wide range of

delicious breakfast and healthy lunch options, Winnetka’s newest café also offers takeout and can serve as a private event space. Check out their Instagram, @towneadoak, for more updates.773.313.3211 921 Green Bay Road, Winnetka B Square Pizza Detroit-style pizza hits the North Shore. B Square Pizza is a new delivery-only pizzeria that serves Chicago’s North Shore with more than 10 specialty pizzas. Keep it classic with a

WHAT’S NEW IN YOUR TOWN? Are you or someone you know opening a new business? We want to hear about it! Send us an email at editorial@

Pepperoni Pizza or get adventurous with a Spicy Hawaiian. Appetizers like crispy wings for an appetizer and hot hand pies for dessert round out the menu. Order from most online food ordering and delivery platforms.224.676.0312 601 N Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling, bsquare Evette’s Chicago Did you know the Lebanese have had a large impact on Mexican cuisine? Evette’s is named after co-owner Mitchell AbouJamra’s grandmother, who

immigrated from Lebanon to Mexico. The love that AbouJamra’s grandmother put into her cooking is reflected in every item on the Evette’s menu. Try the Pita Nachos, two- or three-taco combinations like Halloumi, Quesabirria, and Al Pastor, a side of Evette’s Famous Tabbouleh, and top if all off with a Churro Shake. 773.799.8478 350 W. Armitage, Chicago Grapes & Grains Transport yourself to the early 1900s at this new

Spirits & Spice A new Chicago outpost for this specialty shop selling oils, vinegars and spirits joins the franchise’s three other locations in Jackson Hole, Sedona, and Las Vegas. Pop in to pick up the perfect olive oil and balsamic duo, a fine red wine to pair with your dinner, or a special gift for the home chef. 888.807.7474 835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago Nobu Chicago The famous Nobu brand has finally come to Chicago. Enjoy highquality drinks and sushi, perfected by renowned Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa. chicago/home

Beard Papa’s Beard Papa’s is back in Chicago, after closing shop eight years ago. On opening day, the Japanese bakery sold over 2,000 of their famous cream puffs. Ever Ever is the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Curtis Duffy and Michael Muser. At Ever, with an eight-to-10 course tasting menu, food is not just food, it’s an experience.

H E ALTH Commonwealth Running Company Matthew Abitbol started running in 2008. Since then, he has run over 240 races, and has an impressive four career wins. Commonwealth is Abitbol’s passion turned reality. A one-stop shop for every runner’s needs, this new Evanston business can help launch or enhance a new running journey or streamline a veteran runners’ needs. 847.425.0089 1631 Sherman Ave, Evanston commonwealth

BETTER TOGETHER: Of all the times to launch a restaurant, one of the most challenging must be during a pandemic. Read about 10 incredible restaurants that opened in 2020 at

Get updates about the latest new business openings by subscribing to the Better Letter at To be considered for future listings, email

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Connect with Us


Top 5 Stories Online Right Now 1 ‘The FRIENDS Experience: The One in Chicago’ Is the Ultimate Must-Do Ever wondered what it would be like to pull up a chair in Monica’s spotless kitchen or, grab a coffee at Central Perk? Now’s your moment. 2 Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Sends Shockwaves Through the Nation — What’s Next On Sept. 22, the world lost a cultural and feminist icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Having successfully fought against gender discrimination, her career as a Supreme Court Justice inspired many, even if they weren’t on her political side.


3 Virtual Inspiration from Local Teachers: 5 Tips to Keep Kids Motivated With stress reaching new highs, Matt Matkovich and Phil Januszewski's belief that the ordinary needs to be celebrated more forms the foundation for “Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary,” the duo’s motivational presentation for parents, students and schools. 4 Nick's Wilmette Has Closed — How to Help Save Other Local Restaurants We are so sad to hear that our friends at Nick’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill in Wilmette, a repeat Best of Winner, have closed their doors. The economic toll that the pandemic is having on small businesses is devastating. Learn how you can help.


5 Home for the Holidays? Illinois Issues Tips for Gathering Safely During Covid-19 If you’ve been looking forward to gathering with loved ones for the upcoming holidays, you sadly may want to rethink those plans. As the colder temperatures force us indoors, Illinois has released their guidelines and tips for coming together during the third wave of the pandemic.



OUR BETTER HALF IS ONLINE Our world is changing more quickly than ever and the best way to stay up to date on what’s happening and how it's impacting our community every day is to follow us on social media and subscribe to our e-newsletter, the Better Letter, at

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J’Amy Tarr M ade

S an F rancisco www . jamytarr . com in

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Your Chicago T H E P E O P L E . T H E P L AC E S . T H E C AU S E S .

LET IT GLOW Where to take in the holiday lights from a distance this season BY MACAIRE DOUGLAS

Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden

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Your Chicago / CURRENTS

Holiday festivities will look a whole lot different this year, but there’s one sparkling constant you can count on— seas of twinkling lights adorning many of our favorite local destinations. Here are six spots where you can safely savor seasonal light installations.

Art on the Mart Just in time to celebrate the holidays, Art on theMART, in partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and

Art on the Mart

Special Events, is revealing a new program with The Joffrey Ballet. Showcasing images from the Christmas classic “The Nutcracker” and set to music from Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, the 30-minute program of projections will be shown nightly at 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. and can be viewed for free from the jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk on Wacker Dr. between Wells St. and Franklin St.. Note: no more than 100 people can be on the Riverwalk jetty and all must comply with social distancing regulations, including masks. Through Dec. 30; Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden Enter a captivating world of light, color, and sound on an all-new trail for 2020, designed with safety in mind. The Botanic Garden will have thousands of twinkling lights, including the popular Cathedral of Light, and new delights that will help you make holiday memories. Advanced reservations are highly suggested, as many dates do sell out. Masks will be required, and note that the entire event is outdoors, so dress appropriately. Through Jan.3;

The Morton Arboretum

Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo Brookfield Zoo's annual Holiday Magic, presented by ComEd and Meijer, celebrates its 39th season this year. See the dazzling light displays including a 600-foot-long tunnel featuring thousands of colored lights all synchronized to music; a giant 20-foot-lit orb ideal for Instagram selfies or holiday photos; a 41-foot-tall holiday tree; larger-than-life LED animal sculptures of a bison, a bear, and a giraffe; and 660 LED-lit trees decorated with ornaments. Visitors can also play the

Game of Gnomes, a brand-new family-friendly scavenger hunt in search of 24 whimsical and enchanting themed gnomes located throughout the zoo. Select dates through Nov. 27-Dec. 31; Tickets required; Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum The eighth year of Illumination promises to be a special one: The winter tradition has been reimagined as a 2-mile driving experience designed with safety in mind. Embracing the Arboretum’s mission and identity as The Champion of Trees, the exhibition will take guests on a journey that begins with a passage through a new tunnel of lights and past favorites such as Symphony Woods, Woodland Wonder and Crystal Promenade, as well as five new visual exhibits enhanced by beautiful woodland lighting among the trees. Nov. 20–Jan. 1;; tickets required. ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo ZooLights, presented by ComEd and Invesco QQQ illuminates the zoo with dazzling lights and dynamic displays. Enjoy socially distant visits with Santa, Snowy’s Spirits & S’more, an Enchanted Forest, Light Maze Presented and more! There will be two free members-only nights on Nov. 20 and Dec. 1. The zoo is also offering five free public nights Nov. 24, Dec. 9, Dec. 17, Dec. 21, and Dec. 29. Reservations required;

BETTER HOLIDAYS: For more holiday happenings around Chicago and the suburbs, subscribe to the Better Letter to receive our roundup of the 31 best things to do in Chicago in December.


Mag Mile Lights Festival There won’t be a parade this year, but Michigan Avenue will still shine bright all winter long with illuminated trees lining the Magnificent Mile. Some of Chicago’s most beloved traditions and events that have been canceled this year, including Christkindlmarket and the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, will also get a home for the holidays through #OnTheMile's storefront displays, encouraging e-commerce support. Connecting passersby to a broader swathe of Chicago, South and West Side communities will decorate windows showcasing some of the holiday traditions and values celebrated by their residents.

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Real Luxury The RealReal brings high-end consignment to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile ALEXIS MILLER The RealReal is redesigning what it looks like to shop consignment in Chicago. Spurred by raging online success,“the world’s largest marketplace for authenticated luxury consignment” has expanded into storefronts across the country, adding a Midwest flagship in Chicago as its tenth, and largest, location. The store offers women’s and men’s readyto-wear, shoes, handbags and accessories; beauty; fine jewelry and watches; home and art. And from address and building materials to store layout and decor, the concept revolves around an entirely sustainable, shoppable and educational experience. They start by choosing a location that mirrors their luxury aesthetic. Specifically, a storefront that doesn’t require a lot of work to reduce the negative environmental impact of

construction. However, where refurbishing is necessary, they opt for justifiable materials such as cork. The store isn’t just stocked to dress the city, it was outfitted for Chicagoans, by Chicagoans. A team of curators created relationships with Chicago-based artists, sourcing original pieces for the store from galleries or thrifted and reupholstered by local artists. Not only has the décor been locally sourced, but so is the in-store team of experts. Tailors specializing in alterations to high-end

products, gemologists and watchmakers are all onsite to appraise, alter, customize and answer questions, providing complete transparency for clients during the buying and selling process. Visit the RealReal Miracle Mile at 940 N. Michigan Ave.

Read more about The RealReal in our interview with founder Julie Wainwright at

An Eco-Friendly Closet


7 Ways You Can Lower Your Carbon Footprint Right Now On Oct. 15, UNICEF hosted the “Your Hidden Climate Footprint” webinar as part of their Unite for Children Climate Change Summit. Environmental lawyer Kim Lewand Martin and cofounder of the Fixx Collective Daisy Chen Hutton shared seven ways to reduce your carbon footprint by rethinking your closet. Rent, swap or buy your clothes from second-hand stores. Hutton started the Fixx Collective, a “sharecycling” service that rents and sells clothing from ethically sustainable brands such as Girlfriend Collective and Soko. Support local BIPOC-owned resale shops. Classy Closet Consignment is an Evanston consignment shop that resells high-end brands like Stuart Weitzman. Shop sustainable. Planet Access Store (4727 N. Lincoln Ave) and Greenheart Shop (5247 N. Clark St.) are both independent stores in


Chicago that sell sustainable clothing and accessories. All purchases made at Planet Access give back to Search, Inc., a program that helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Shop ethically manufactured. Squasht Boutique in Chicago is woman-owned, and only sells locally handmade clothing and accessories. 2556 W. Chicago Ave, 1W Don’t buy fast fashion on the premise that you’ll donate it later. Only about 25 percent of donations to second-hand shops like Goodwill get resold. The rest get sent to other countries where a large amount goes straight into a landfill or incinerator because it’s not usable. Watch out for label traps. “Made in the USA” does not actually guarantee quality or fair wages. Nor does a T-shirt labeled “Feminism” hold any meaning if it is made by oppressed women. Companies often “greenwash” their

products by claiming to take sustainable steps but are really just using it as a marketing ploy. Hold back. Both Martin and Hutton shared that they stopped purchasing clothes for a whole year. The difference? Nothing. In fact, studies show that we only wear 18 percent of the clothes we own anyway. BETTER SHOPPING: See which local shops our readers named the Best of 2020 at best-of-2020-shopping.

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Your Chicago / CURRENTS




AYA PASTRY Pastry chef Aya Fukai is churning out peppermint bark, cookie tins, cherry pecan loaves to accompany cheese boards, cinnamon buns and a Ninja-bread Dojo kit, Fukai's fun take on a gingerbread house. The kit comes with all of the pieces necessary to build a gingerbread dojo, candy, frosting and three ninjabread men. 1332 W. Grand Ave., Chicago; LOST LARSON For a grand finale to your holiday dinner, pick up a pie from Lost Larson in Andersonville. Bobby Schaffer grinds whole wheat flour fresh with a stone mill for all his pies and this year he's serving salted honey, triple chocolate, heirloom pumpkin and apple pie with a Wisconsin cheddar crust. For festive breakfasts, try takeand-bake cinnamon rolls, along with loaves of freshly milled sourdough, croissants and espresso. 5318 N. Clark St., Chicago;

BRINDILLE Pastry chef Craig Harzewski has been creating fun desserts to-go during the pandemic and he's offering “haute couture” small batch ice cream for the holidays. Guests can dream up their own flavor, with a minimum six-pint purchase per flavor for $75. Gift hamper baskets with handmade chocolate boxes, cookies and alcohol will be available for pre-order as well. 534 N. Clark St., Chicago; TRAVELLE Travelle at the Langham pastry chef Danielle Marelli’s pies are the perfect host/hostess gift or dessert contribution. There's pecan pie, apple crumb pie topped with oat cinnamon spiced streusel and Marelli's personal favorite pumpkin custard pie, all served with vanilla bean chantilly cream. 33 N. Wabash, Chicago; AVEC Pastry chef Nicole Guini puts creative twists on her childhood favorites. Guini's grown-up carrot cake swaps Medjool dates for the typical raisins, incorporating house-made date purée, pineapple purée, desiccated coconut and toasted walnuts. Brown butter pumpkin cake is rippled with cheesecake, garnished with brown sugar crumb, then paired with bourbon vanilla chai tea ice cream, toasted pepitas and brown butter cinnamon pastry cream. 615 W. Randolph St., Chicago; ALL TOGETHER NOW The Ukrainian village cafe and bottle shop is offering an array of cookies for holiday entertaining. Chef Abigail Zielke elevates her childhood favorite Oreos with dark chocolate, malted milk and vanilla beans. Her maple caramel cookies are based on traditional sugar cookies, but with a great chewy texture and richer flavor. “We top them with salted caramel and Turkish chili flakes to balance the sweetness of the maple syrup,” she says. Tart cherry-coconut bars round out the half-dozen assortment, which is available for $20. 2119 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago;

Aya Pastry

BETTER BAKING: Prefer to make your own holiday treats? For festive recipes from some of Chicago’s top chefs, visit

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All Together Now


Whether you're hosting a family or enjoying a more secluded holiday at home, picking up one of these fresh-baked desserts from a local restaurant will help make your season (and theirs!) brighter.


Family Wealth Planning



Let storytelling and exploration of hopes, dreams and shared values inform your most important family wealth discussions SUSAN B. NOYES Technically, a “family office” is a concept recommended for Ultra High Net Wealth (UHNW) families. One generation amasses so much wealth—often from a business they founded—that they want or need independent full-time experts to help them manage, invest, transfer and/or donate it. Used wisely, a family office also facilitates important financial discussions and education across generations. Because UHNW parents find it as difficult to discuss money with their kids as all others do, the experts help them frame and discuss the issues and their values, as well as facilitate transactions and record-keeping. Whether or not your net worth puts you in the UHNW category though, if you have benefited financially during this pandemic— when the stock market, private equity and real estate outside of dense urban areas have risen dramatically even as our federal government took on debt that is the equivalent of our annual GDP—you can and will benefit from organizing your financial affairs as though you have a family office. In other words, whatever your net worth, at this unique inflection point in history and with respect to the US economy, it can be prudent to consult with financial experts. Engaging in thoughtful discussions about money with your family now will enable you to make use of appropriate financial and legal tools and make the best choices for your family before this year ends. In 2020, our tax laws allow each individual to transfer almost $12 million tax free to their heirs during their lifetime. That law could be changed

through legislative action as early as next year. The “lifetime exemption” could be reduced or eliminated. Conventional economic thinking implies that this is likely to happen, too. Similarly, there is extraordinary need for philanthropic support during this unprecedented time that continues to be punctuated by pandemic, social unrest, environmental disasters and political uncertainty. If you’ve gotten wealthier as others have struggled, you probably feel inspired and compelled to pay forward your good fortune. This confluence of law and facts makes it wise for families with substantial assets to consider acting before tax laws change in order to ensure that their assets are used to support the health, education and future of heirs. This exploration may also facilitate thoughtful discussion of values and goals among family members and help avoid proving the old adage that fortunes are earned and lost over three generations. The help of an expert can make this an experience that brings you closer to your loved ones, while setting up a more hopeful future for them too. To provide context and facilitate connection and discussion, ask yourself and your family the following questions. Their answers may lead to the storytelling and sharing of values that can help bind your family together, keep it strong for the future, and help you chart the

wisest course for the future of your loved ones. • Why does this family capital exist? • What important family stories and traditions underlie it? • What opportunities and responsibilities does it provide? • What are your values and hopes for the future? • What are your family members’ values and hopes for the future? • What impact should capital invested in businesses or philanthropy make? Ideally, a family office includes expertise in real estate, education, health care, investments, trusts, GRATS and other wealth transfer instruments, philanthropy and tax law. Often, it will also include “concierge” services for travel and other lifestyle opportunities. The majority of wealth management firms offer expertise in most the of these categories. But experts in each category also exist. The best advisors make complicated concepts easy to understand and can provide a structure for your family conversations around important, but potentially emotionally charged issues.

BETTER FINANCES: We're committed to connecting you to the best local resources to help you make your dollars go further, helping you to help your family and your community. Read more at

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Holiday Gift Guide


Teddie Kossof Salon Spa Give the gift of beauty! Bonus $25 gift card with every $150 gift card purchased, valid through 12/15/20. Print an InstaGift online from home or pick-up gift cards in-salon. Celebrating 45 Years of Beauty! 847.999.9500,, 281 North Waukegan Road, Northfield, IL

EGEA Spa Melt away stress while enhancing your Skin Health. A 30 minute Hydrafacial totally protected under our “Exclusive Medical Grade Shield”. Cleansing, extractions, and enzyme peel brighten your skin. Our upgraded HVAC system with UV air filters goes beyond safety protocols throughout the Spa. So Relax, Feel Safe, and Focus on your FACE. 847.332.2772, 1521 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL,

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Bellina Caetano. The best gift is one she will wear everyday! Unique yet timeless jewelry designed sustainably by Bella. Handcrafted with semiprecious gemstones and metals from Brazil. Created to celebrate women being fearless, authentic, and gracefully bold in their everyday lives. Visit our boutique for the full Bellina Caetano experience on Michigan Ave., @bellinacaetano, 900 N Michigan Ave, Level 5, Chicago, IL

Art makes the perfect gift! Stop in and see our curated selection of paintings and photography perfect for this year’s holiday season. 847.835.8500,, @anneloucksgallery, Anne Loucks Gallery, 309 Park Ave, Glencoe, IL

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BETTER GIFT GUIDE In need of a heaping helping of good cheer? You’re not alone. If you’ve been feeling down, ‘tis the season to turn it around. A study by the American Psychological Association found that giving makes people feel better than receiving, confirming what we’ve long felt to be true. But, since the last thing we need this year is one more stressor, we’re bringing you foolproof gift ideas for everyone on your list.

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FOR HER The Healer Collection Vosges Chocolate $80; Chicago's chocolate queen Katrina Markoff is back with an inspiring new chocolate healer collection for the holidays. Powerful, energetic plants and adaptogens like reishi mushrooms, blue algae, guajillo chile, damiana and rose tap into the transformative magic of cacao, encouraging mindfulness and positive energy with each bite.

Manuela “Miss M” Earrings Bellina Caetano Davenport Turtleneck, shown in Hoar Sage Mel Loro Piana $1,650; 39 E Oak St, Chicago Made in Italy from the finest, buttery-soft cashmere, this beautifully cut sweater will keep her cozy all season long.

$228; 900 N. Michigan Shops., Chicago Bellina Caetano is a woman-owned business whose mission is based on unveiling the brilliance and talents of Brazilian people. These “gracefully bold” earrings are perfect for those holiday, or New Year, Zoom parties.

Living Libations Sun Dew Crème Eskell $60; 2029 N Western Ave, Chicago; We all know Vitamin D is essential, especially during our long Chicago winters. This moisturizer packs it in for a superior boost of glow to your skin, minus the harmful rays.

BETTER GIFTS: For more great gift ideas for everyone on your list, go to

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FOR HIM Binny’s Teeling Acacia Single Cask Whiskey $99; This limited edition acacia single cask whiskey ($99) is a Chicago-exclusive, hand-selected by the spirits team at Binny's. There are only 276 bottles available and the Irish single malt whiskey has been aged for 14 years in acacia wood barrels.

Sony PlayStation 5 Abt $569.99; This next-gen console is guaranteed to be one of the year’s most coveted gifts for gamers.

Gibsons Steaks Steaks from $82; Perfect for the transplanted Chicagoan who can’t make it home this season, Gibsons is now delivering their famous steaks nationwide. Choose from bone-in fi let, New York strip, ribeye and steakhouse burgers, along with Gibsons famous seasoning salt.

Fleet Feet Theragun ELITE $399; Say goodbye to sore muscles with this instant massage and recovery tool. The percussive therapy device stimulates circulation and releases tension. Athletes won’t believe they ever managed without one.

Penfield Bilton Check Shirt Jacket, Navy Cowboys and Astronauts $205; 1478 W Summerdale Ave, Chicago Made for comfort, and function, this wool blend overshirt has a carabiner detail and D-ring on the front that will please all the DIY-ers.

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FOR THE HOME Chalet Nursery RARE by Chalet Indoor Plant Price varies; 3132 Lake Ave, Wilmette Give the gift of the outdoors this season with one of Chalet’s RARE indoor plants. In this curated selection, the experts at Chalet Nursery have gathered some of the most unique and one-of-a-kind houseplants.

Share Piecework Champagne Problems Puzzle $26; 1177 Wilmette Ave, Wilmette Puzzles are the perfect gift, especially when it shows a rainbow of champagne. Made of high-quality art paper and thick stock, this puzzle from Share is so pretty, you’ll want to frame it.

Jayson Home Cire Trudon Busts $180 each; 885 N. Clybourn Ave, Chicago Are these candles, or works of art? Featured in Jayson Home’s holiday capsule collection, Cire Trudon has been making expert candles since 1643, and was even France’s one and only candle-maker to the King.

Kammok Bobcat 45 Down Trail Quilt $199; Stay toasty during evenings on the patio all winter long. A line of down trail quilts by Kammok, a certified B Corps company and member of 1% for the Planet, quadruple as sleeping bags, cozy blankets, hammock underquilts, and even ponchos—perfect for a midJanuary dinner alfresco.

The Great Brain Cell Sacrifice Ritual Sacrifice Wine Club Membership 6 bottles quarterly starting at $168; The Great Brain Cell Sacrifice is a partnership between Lieu Dit Winery and celebrated Santa Barbara winemaker, Justin Willett. For every bottle purchased, a book is donated by Books for Kids to a child in need. Drinking has never felt so generous.

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FOR THE KIDS Yoto Yoto Player

The Red Balloon Floor Floaties

$99.99; With their eyes glued to screens most days, the kids are in need of an imagination break. In comes the Yoto Player, a new screen-free smart device that gives kids access to a world of music, stories, podcasts and more.

$94; 1940 N. Damen Ave, Chicago Between e-learning breaks and movie nights, kids of all ages will love these floor floaties to lounge on. Available in a cheeseburger, cupcake, rainbow or pizza design. And parents — they are washable!

Eat2explore Culinary Activity Kits $24.95; Kids develop fundamental cooking skills while indulging their creativity and exploring cultures and cuisines from around the world via these culinary activity kits. Each box is themed to a different country—Mexico, Israel, India, Singapore, France—including recipe cards, nonperishable ingredients, activity sheets, cooking tools and more.

Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Pizza Price varies; Send the best of Chicago to your favorite kiddos, or kids-at-heart. Lou Malnati’s is a crowd pleaser, and guaranteed hit when it arrives at your recipient's doorstep.

Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 $79.99; With most indoor activities off limits, keeping kids active will only get tougher as the weather gets colder. Help them set and reach fitness goals and even track sleep with a Marvel- or Disney-themed fitness tracker that also features games and interactive experiences.

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5B2F Akira Sushi

143 Skokie Blvd, Wilmette, IL 847.920.5332,

KELLY, ABIGAIL, ERIN AND AKIRA YANG Owners and Chef Akira is a creative Sushi Chef who trained with famous Chef Ida Takahashi San (Tokyo Style) and famous Chef Kankaku Hiroshi San (Osaka Style). He has experience working at Bistro Pacific, Banzai, Wild Fish, Kegon, Kame Hachi, and other Japanese restaurants. Kelly cares about the customer experience, trying to remember each customer’s name and favorite food. They bring their 21 years of restaurant experience to 5B2F which was inspired by a bible story about a boy with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus transformed the boy’s humble offering of bread and fish into a feast to feed 5,000 people with 12 full baskets of food leftover. This story inspires them to be God’s tool. When we give Jesus what we have (even though it is so tiny) Jesus feeds many people who need help. They serve traditional sushi and trendy specialty rolls, homemade Japanese ramen, healthy poke bowls, and inventive salads. Open MondaySaturday with flexible options: Carry out, Delivery, and Catering. Kelly and Akira want to join your happy life!

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If your motivation for pandemic cooking has begun to wane, help is on the way. Dining Editor Julie Chernoff shares her favorite cookbooks of 2020, perfect for gifting or injecting some new inspo into your quarantine routine

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In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen

Somali chef Hawa Hassan and consummate food writer Julia Turshen have gathered recipes from African bibis (grandmothers). The book bursts with joy, sharing the stories and recipes of these remarkable women from Eritrea, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Comoros.

Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India by Maneet Chauhan

James Beard Award-winning chef Maneet Chauhan explores India’s delightful, spice-laden street foods

as well as its culture. From building blocks like ghee, spicy-sweet chutneys and Indian breads to the flavored Lassis (yogurt drinks) of Punjab’s milk bars, crispy fritters, and my personal favorite, Gajar ka Halwa (carrot pudding with saffron and pistachios), the writing, photos and recipes evoke a world of flavor of which you will want to partake.

to blini, with a modern sensibility. Millet Porridge with Pumpkin, Braised Cod with Horseradish, Cold Vegetable Soup with Kefir, and Buckwheat Honey Ice Cream would be equally at home at a Brooklyn bistro as at a Russian dacha.

Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore by Darra Goldstein

The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained by Nik Sharma

The classic peasant foods of Russia — hearty whole grains, fermented and cultured foods, rich and tangy dairy — are today’s oft-touted health foods. This is the everyday home cooking of Russia, from pickles

Support local by purchasing these cookbooks at your neighborhood bookstore. Book Bin

1151 Church St, Northbrook 847-498-4999


Bookend & Beginnings

1712 Sherman Ave, Evanston 224-999-7722

Roscoe Books 2142 W Roscoe St, Chicago 773-857-2676

The Book Cellar 4736 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago 773-293-2665

The Book Market 2651 Navy Boulevard, Glenview 847-904-7304 venue/the-book-market

Volumes Bookstore

900 N Michigan Shops 900 N Michigan, Chicago 312-846-6750

Women and Children First 5233 N Clark St, Chicago 773-769-9299


“Flavor comes first” is scientist and best-selling cookbook author Nik Sharma’s cri de coeur as he explores how our taste perceptions of saltiness, sweetness, savoriness, brightness, and richness can combine in the best recipes. Cooking and eating are entirely sensory experiences, and these 100 recipes are an exploration of flavor and the science of taste.

I Cook in Color: Bright Flavors from My Kitchen and Around the World by Asha Gomez Eating a wide assortment of brightly colored foods is healthy, of course, but more than that, it satisfies the senses. Asha Gomez is a master of combining the flavors of her native India with those of her adopted Atlanta and the American South. Here, she takes a global view, and the book is a melting pot of all sorts of deliciousness, be it a rich Vidalia Onion Soup with Aged Gruyère, Duck Confit with Pan-Seared Georgia Peaches, or her a Sticky Pandan and Date-Toffee Pudding Cake.

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Soulful Cooking

The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food by Marcus Samuelsson

Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson highlights contemporary Black cooking and the myriad contributions of Black cooks to the American journey in this book that celebrates the diversity and heritage of the black community, from Africa to the Caribbean and beyond.

Vegetable Kingdom by Bryant Terry

Terry has made vegan cooking approachable, and dare I say, sexy. This is not about meat substitutes, but rather centers on grains, legumes and vegetables to create dishes that speak to the soul and feature flavors and dishes inspired by the African Diaspora, like the Cornmeal-Fried Oyster Mushroom Po’Boy, or the Roasted Delicata Squash with Black-Eyed Peas and Mustard Greens.

Get Baked

Good Book of Southern Baking: A Revival of Biscuits, Cakes, and Cornbread by Kelly Fields There’s baking, and then there’s Southern baking. James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Kelly Fields shares her famous cornbread, seven varieties of biscuit, a Creole Cream Cheesecake, and a Coconut Cake for the ages.

100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen by Sarah Kieffer

The Vanilla Bean Baking Blog has been a go-to for most obsessive home bakers, and Sarah Kieffer’s pan-banging technique has revolutionized the way many of us bake our cookies. The Raspberry Rye,

Banana Poppyseed, and Rocky Road Cookies are all winners; the Espresso Caramel Blondies are some of the most incredible bars I have ever eaten; and the Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies are next level, as billed.

The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies by Erin Jeanne


Erin McDowell covers all things pie in easy-to-follow detail: extra-flaky pie crusts, blind baking, storage, when and what to freeze, and all the glorious fillings, both sweet and savory. You’ll also learn to mix and match doughs, fillings and glazes to customize your pies (Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin-Spice Pie Dough and Dark Chocolate Drippy Glaze, anyone?).

Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence by Claire Saffitz

Claire Saffitz, a breakout star of the Bon Appetit test kitchen videos, is out with her first book, giving you the tools you need to discover your inner dessert person. The Blood Orange and Olive Oil Upside-Down Cake is a beauty, and deceptively easy to make. The Kabocha-Turmeric Tea Cake will go on repeat in my house, as will the sumptuous Honey-Tahini Challah.

New Books from Old Favorites

Dinner in French: My Recipes by Way of France by Melissa Clark

NYT Food columnist Melissa Clark spent childhood summers in France with her family eating their way across the country. Now, she revisits the cuisine, but with an eye toward the future as well as the

past. Everything is relatively quick and easy, from the Tahini Omelet (sounds odd, tastes amazing) to the Pommes Aligot (your choice of the classic or a riff with sweet potatoes and sage, either way outrageously cheesy).

Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten When Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself, appeared in a pandemic video this spring with the world’s largest Cosmopolitan, I started getting very jazzed for her new book, because she gets us, you know? She understands that we are stressed, and she wants to help with plates laden with Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, Baked Rigatoni with Lamb Ragu, and Lobster BLTs. Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi with Ixta Belfrage Mediterranean food icon Yotam

Ottolenghi is out with his newest sure-to-be bestseller, an homage to plant-based cooking for the flexitarians among us. He teaches us to coax the most flavor possible out of every ingredient, whether by browning, charring, infusing or aging.

Let’s Brunch by Belinda Smith-Sullivan Smith-

Sullivan honed her brunch skills by cooking for friends and neighbors, and Let’s Brunch is the result of years of recipe testing. Her proud Southern heritage is evident in recipes such as Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits, Blackened Catfish on Herb Grits with Pineapple Relish, Southern Succotash, and Fried Green Tomatoes with Aioli. Save room for the Red Velvet-Pecan Waffles with Fried Chicken. BETTER RECIPES: Head to to get Belinda Smith-Sullivan’s recipes for Italian Baked Eggs and Sausage and a Grapefruit, Champagne, and Vodka Spritz—perfect for a holiday brunch!

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Chicago has a problem with gun violence.

ARNE DUNCAN has a solution. How

CHICAGO CRED is working with shooters to


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n 2015, after working in D.C. as Barack Obama’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan returned home to Chicago. In a house just two blocks from where he grew up in Hyde Park, Duncan wasted no time in getting back to work. This time, to confront Chicago’s most critical crisis: gun violence. “Chicago has given me everything,” Duncan said. “For me to come back to this city and not work on this—I couldn’t have lived with myself.” Duncan’s father was a professor at the University of Chicago, while his mother, Sue Duncan, ran a tutoring center for inner-city youth on Chicago’s South Side. Her work addressing education inequality, Arne said, had a hugely formative impact on him and his siblings. Like many Chicagoans, Duncan is too familiar with the devastation of gun violence. As a teen, he lost several friends. And, as an adult, serving as the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, he lost a student to gun violence—on average—every two weeks. “All of the stuff that was supposed to be hard about my job, academic achievements, budgeting, labor management, operations— was all easier than going to the funerals of those kids,” Duncan said. “Going to classrooms where there was an empty desk and having to make sense of the senseless to a group of kids. It just got harder.”



hen Duncan left Chicago for Washington, D.C. in 2009 to work in the Obama Administration, he thought the city had hit rock bottom. Unfortunately, he was very wrong. In 2016, Chicago saw 778 deaths—its deadliest year since the 1990s. And now, in 2020,

South Side, violence has actually decreased by 33%. By no coincidence, Roseland is the neighborhood in which Duncan’s gun violence prevention program, Chicago CRED, has worked the longest. In just over four years, they’ve invested $10 million annually and seen more than 310 men through the Roseland program. “If you want to stop shootings, you need to work with shooters,” Duncan said. “All my life I have worked on the prevention side, and while that is hugely important, there are not enough folks working with the guys actually doing the shooting.”



hen developing CRED, Duncan had countless conversations with men at Cook County Jail to understand what programming would be most effective. And, what he heard surprised him. Dozens of men told Duncan that they would be willing to put down their guns for $12 to $13, a reality that is heartbreaking– but also solvable. He concluded that gun violence in Chicago is more an economic problem than a crime problem. It took Duncan and his team just seven days to find their first group of men in Roseland. One of the men, arguably the most atrisk member of the group, made $80 a day on the streets. CRED nearly doubled his income. And, that, Duncan said, made putting down a gun to join CRED a very rational choice. Participants are connected to mentors, with whom they develop personal and professional goals. CRED pays participants to partake in their workforce development program, where they refine skills and prepare for employment. After graduation, they are able to work for one of nearly four dozen employers that hire through CRED. Graduates have worked in culinary, hospitality, manufacturing and construction. They also currently have two men working at law firms in the city, and another at Deloitte Consulting.



in part collateral damage of the coronavirus pandemic and national unrest, the city is on track to surpass that number. Tragically, gun violence killed many young children this year. With citywide violence up 51%, it is hard to feel hopeful. But, in one of the city’s 15 most violent neighborhoods, Roseland on the

eople always tell me how great it is that I’m giving these guys ‘a second chance,’” Duncan said. “But, I’m not. We’re giving them a first chance. For most of the men we work with, every structure in their lives—whether it was family or church or school—all those structures failed them. The one structure that was always there to pick them up, was a street gang—it was a rational choice. What we’re doing [at CRED] is giving them a second rational choice.” CRED’s comprehensive programming works through five pillars: street outreach, mentorship/counseling, clinical support, education and workforce development. Each pillar is essential to their work, because addressing largescale systemic violence is multifaceted. Beginning with street outreach, CRED’s team works to identify and recruit active shooters—men, and some women, who are at-risk of falling victim to cycles of violence. Duncan makes the important distinction that while the reality is many folks in Chicago carry guns, they are not all considered active shooters.

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huge factor in CRED’s impact is the team’s own personal experience. Many of the folks at CRED have themselves served jailtime—or had family or friends who have—and have since made a commitment to the next generation’s liberation from that same cycle. Part of this is addressing trauma, which is where their clinical team comes in. Duncan explained that the trauma most of these men deal with has been lifelong. “Hurt people, hurt people,” Duncan said. Recently, one of these street outreach workers was able to negotiate a hostage situation to peaceful resolution. Law enforcement and SWAT team members were both present, but because this outreach worker had a relationship with the person, they stood down and allowed him to mitigate. It was a non-traditional move that required trust and cooperation, but no one got killed. “This has been a horrible year for the city,” Duncan said. “We have to be willing to try something different. I’d love to see greater emphasis on actually working with shooters and giving them a reason to put down the guns.” He later added, “it’s relationships that change lives, not programs.” It’s the program’s emphasis on this face-to-face relationship building that has been most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Duncan said that while virtual programming was necessary, it is not ideal for the work they’re doing. However, they’ve found a silver lining in front porch conversations. Duncan said that he’s spent more time than ever sitting on porch steps and talking to guys outside, which has been really helpful for deepening some bonds. It’s a matter of always being proximate and available to the men in the program. Right before the pandemic, Duncan was beginning to see changes he had once only dreamed of. To gauge the program’s effectiveness, CRED constantly analyzes crime metrics. However, Duncan thought it important to directly ask community members, and the men he works with, if they feel safer. Despite seeing doubledigit reductions in violence across the city the last three years, no one was saying they actually felt safer. It was not until more recently that Duncan’s participants in Roseland told him that they do notice a change. When asked what felt different, their response was that CRED was reaching all of the right people. “These guys are living in a warzone. That’s just reality,” Duncan said. “If there’s just a few less bullets flying, you’re not going to feel safer. There has to be a structural reduction—a systemic repression of violence—across the community before it actually starts to feel safer to walk and take your kids to the park.” An effort like this takes the support of the entire community, from local government to Chicagoans across the city. For the last four years, CRED has been both funding violence prevention work and actively doing the work. They also work with and support various community partners, like Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) and Institute for Non-Violence Chicago, local organizations that have been doing essential on-the-ground work for years. According to Duncan, everyone has a role to play. Chicago’s

violence prevention efforts have been largely funded philanthropically from the private sector. Duncan emphasizes that public safety is ultimately a public good and getting the city to further invest in their work is critical. Besides the obvious devastation, gun violence is also incredibly costly for the city. While experts disagree on how to determine an exact cost, the Boston Consulting Group estimated direct costs to be more than $3 billion in 2018—and this number does not include emotional trauma. “Our goal is that two to three years from now, we will be in a radically different place,” Duncan said. “But, that’s going to take all of our combined efforts and we have hard work to do. I’m both wildly hopeful, and feel a huge sense of urgency.” Chicago’s 2021 Budget Engagement Survey showed that 87% of Chicagoans were in support of reallocating money from the $1.68 billion Chicago Police D e p a r t m ent b u d g e t i nt o other programs. The same survey concluded that most Better named Arne Duncan to our list of six extraChicagoans ranked commuordinary Chicagoans who have been forces for nity services as being the most positive change in 2020. Turn the page to learn about important city service, alongfive more incredible women and men who join him on side public health. The city this list and read more online at currently spends $11 million forcesforchange2020. on violence prevention programs. This increased public consciousness may be the result of the ongoing racial justice movement sparked by George Floyd’s death on May 25. “Our guys really are the solution,” Duncan said. “These are amazing young men that have been through so much and have somehow persevered. If we can walk with them, learn from them and continue to empower them—that’s what gives me the greatest amount of hope.”


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Forces for Change



f there’s one word that’s been used to describe 2020 over and over again, it’s “unprecedented.” Yes, we’ve faced unprecedented challenges, unprecedented political and social strife, and unprecedented sadness and heartbreak. But, during what will likely go down as one of the worst years in our collective memory, when so many of us have

experienced moments when we’ve felt like giving up, there are some, like Arne Duncan (p. 34), who’ve risen to the occasion in truly unprecedented ways. Here are five more women and men at the forefront of a tidal wave of positive change, giving us reasons to face 2021 with hope and optimism.

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Monique Jones

President and CEO, Evanston Community Foundation WHEN MONIQUE JONES FIRST INTERVIEWED for the leadership position at the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) back in 2015, she thought it was a place-based philanthropy all about Evanston. “I’ve since found out that the foundation is part of the fabric of Evanston, and the local grantmaking, though important, is not what makes it ECF,” says Jones. “What makes it ECF is that everyone involved — board, staff, donors — is seeking change, looking to tackle some major social issue. That takes more than just grantmaking. And leading this organization, you also must want to be a changemaker. You can’t have just one motivating issue; you must be invested in all of the issues affecting the community.” Jones has long felt the pull of ser v ice to the communit y. Immediately before joining ECF, Jones was Director of Programs at the Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW), where she oversaw a budget of nearly $2 million while managing the grant program and working on major gift development in tandem with the CFW staff. After five years there as second-in-command, she was ready to fly. She knew she wanted a place where her leadership values — humor, optimism, fidelity, integrity, and equity — would be reflected, and she found that perfect fit at ECF, a beloved, premier social-impact organization with an endowment of $28 million. She quickly noticed that it wasn’t just the fervent, loyal donor base that made ECF strong, but their level of commitment and humility. “ Another tremendous asset for the Foundation is the nimbleness of both the staff and Board of Directors, which became evident at

the very start of the pandemic. A virtual Board meeting led by Jones established a COVID-centric fund for Evanston, which they called the EC Rapid Response Fund. In two days, they were up and running with $100,000 in seed money from ECF and three matching donor grants. From that initial $400,000, they raised an additional $2.6 million in six weeks, eventually reaching a fund total of $3.6 million that was swiftly granted out to serve immediate needs. A second fund went public on October 19 with a match date of early 2021—a million-dollar match underwritten by three generous, long-time ECF donors. All of this, of course, comes on t he he el s of not on ly t he pandemic, but civil unrest engendered by the systemic racism that plagues our country. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing this summer, Jones had much on her mind, including her own family ( husband Drennon and their 9-year-old daughter Brielle Marie), their Beverly neighborhood, and the ECF community, as well as how the Foundation fit into the equation. How to deal with injustice on top of inequity? “The work of the Foundation is to hold space for the anguish a nd yet continue connecting resources with need throughout the community,” she shared on her ECF blog. “This means lifting up racial equity in our philanthropy and leadership development initiatives. We will continue listening and asking hard questions. This means assuring that the voice of community members who are most impacted by the disparities we seek to eliminate are at the decisionmaking tables with us.” –JC

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Kate Maehr

Executive Director and CEO of Greater Chicago Food Depository THE NEED FOR FOOD ACROSS CHICAGOLAND has stunned Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) Executive Director and CEO Kate Maehr, but it has never disheartened her. “Every time I go out to a distribution, I’m just struck that every single person standing in line is a person with a life, with a family, with a story—and those lines just go on for blocks and blocks,” Maehr said. Maehr has held her current title since 2006, but her career with GCFD began in 1996 as part of its external affairs team. She also serves as a board member for Feeding America and was appointed co-chair of the recently rebooted Illinois Commission to End Hunger, among other affiliations. In 2020, the need for GCFD’s tireless efforts to end hunger was imperative. In March, the organization was asked to co-lead the city’s emergency food response amid the coronavirus pandemic. By early April, the number of clients served by the organization climbed 120 percent above January’s figures, Maehr recalled, characterizing the need as “wide and deep.” After realizing COVID-19 was having a disproportionate impact on people of color, GCFD fostered new partnerships with trusted organizations to offer pop-up pantries on the city’s South and West sides.

By July, the organization gave more than $2.3 million in grants, with 67 percent of those funds supporting African American and Latino communities in Cook County. In early October, the number of people relying GCFD had tapered off to roughly 50 percent above January’s figures, or about 1.2 million people. The Greater Chicago Food Depository, like many consumers, saw shortages of needed supplies, and the fragility of that supply chain is something Maehr remains worried about. Proposed changes that could restrict access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are another significant point of concern, as is the long-term impact of food insecurity on children, Maehr said. Even in a tumultuous year like 2020, though, Maehr was humbled and inspired by the countless volunteers who stood hand-in-hand with GCFD. For those volunteers as well as those on the receiving end, Maehr will continue to advocate, no matter what tomorrow brings. “We do not have to live in a world where people struggle with something as basic as [access to nutritional] food,” Maehr said. “We do have the ability to change that, but it starts with our voice.” –LC

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Ric Estrada

President and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services THE MULTI-PRONGED AID OFFERED by Metropolitan Family Services (MFS) is near and dear to Ric Estrada. Since March 2011, CEO has preceded Estrada’s name, but his roots are not unlike those of the 93,000 Chicagoans served by MFS, most of whom are working poor or lower-middle class. Estrada, a Mexican-American immigrant, grew up in a basement apartment in the Little Village neighborhood. “I am a male of color who was born poor,” Estrada said. “We just didn’t have all the resources that [some] people have.” Though Estrada wanted to help others, a nonprofit career was not his first choice. At 22 years old, Estrada left the seminary. His studies of psychology, theology and philosophy didn’t pave a clear path, but, whether by fate or chance, he found himself drawn to the nonprofit sector. Estrada interned with MFS (then United Charities) in 1992 and worked with Erie Neighborhood House from 1997-2010. From 20102011, he was the first deputy commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services. Estrada considers himself “blessed” to lead MFS, despite the social and economic rollercoaster that 2020 has inflicted. During the coronavirus lockdown, MFS shifted its legal and mental health services to digital platforms, but urgent mental health cases and domestic

violence victims were seen face-to-face with MFS staff wearing personal protective equipment. MFS formed new partnerships to provide needed supplies (food, diapers, pet food, etc.), and offered assistance with rent/mortgage, utilities and medical costs. In a typical summer, Metropolitan Family Services holds wellattended “Light in the Night” events to “reclaim” dangerous areas with high incidences of gun violence. This year, street outreach workers delivered food and PPE in those areas and urged voting and 2020 Census participation. As co-chair of Chicago’s Complete Count Steering Committee, urging Census participation among hard-tocount populations was yet another high priority for Estrada. Estrada remains focused on educating and partnering with local officials to counter Chicago’s gun violence problem. Progress in Los Angeles affirms his belief that such achievements are attainable, he said. MFS has launched new civil law services for perpetrators and victims of gun violence, something that could “be a significant game changer,” Estrada said. In October, Estrada earned the Chicago Mayor’s Office’s Legacy Award in recognition of his commitment to supporting Chicago’s Latinx community. Upon receiving the award, he said, “I hope that my legacy today and always will be one of unity and solidarity with my brothers and sisters of every community.” –LC

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Liz Thompson

Founder and President of The Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education LIZ THOMPSON KNOWS THE POWER OF A GOOD EDUCATOR. “I have always admired teachers because of the amazing people that taught and motivated me throughout my education,” said Thompson. So, this year, when children across Chicago were unexpectedly distanced from those impactful figures, Thompson wanted to make sure tomorrow’s young leaders could hold their heads high. Thus, The Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education (The CAFE), of which Thompson is the founder and president, launched Operation Megaphone, a campaign seeking to amplify messages of positivity. “We activated all of our communications channels (social media, billboards, WBEZ sponsorship) to reach students, families and the broader community with messages around the central theme of, ‘Classes might be canceled, but your dreams are not,’” Thompson explained. “We further amplified students’ voices and the importance of internships by featuring them in a billboard campaign across the city to motivate employers to take on more virtual work experience opportunities, and to inspire students to think about their futures.” Just as The CAFE urged students to look to the future, the organization also has big plans ahead. Among them, Thompson said, are plans to increase internship opportunities for students of color, particularly in philanthropy.

The CAFE also continues to use its website to promote its community partners. Those partners include: CK-12, a free digital learning platform for K-12; Project SYNCERE, which encourages underrepresented/disadvantaged students to pursue STEM careers; and the Purdue Minority Engineering Program, a program Thompson and her husband, Don, each participated in decades before launching The CAFE. After earning her electrical engineering degree from Purdue University, Thompson spent a decade with Ameritech Corporation. Then, her path took a turn toward her passions for education and youth development. In 1993, Thompson served as the founding executive director of City Year Chicago, a nonprofit that now serves 350 schools across 21 states. Two years later, she led a multimillion-dollar expansion of an Early Head Start Montessori school in Denver. Since 2014, The Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education has invested in organizations that aid students from underserved communities with college access and career attainment. The foundation’s name is an ode to Thompson’s past, as she was raised on Cleveland Avenue in the Cabrini Green housing development. She credits much of her success to her upbringing, as her family and community shaped her core values and vision. –LC

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Ed Wehmer

CEO & Founder, Wintrust ED WEHMER FOUNDED WINTRUST on a strong belief that he could spend more time with his large and growing family, while serving a community he loved, if he built a better bank for Lake Forest, where he and his wife, Dorothy, were raising six young children. He was so successful that the bank grew to eventually become Chicagoland’s largest locally owned financial institution. His kids blossomed into successful adults and grandchildren arrived, too. So, it is no surprise to hear Wehmer say, “One of the upsides of coronavirus is more time with family!” Nor is it surprising that Wintrust quickly rose to the occasion, continuing to effectively serve community—clients, employees, and other local institutions—despite the gauntlet of challenges presented during the past eight months. It started with a response to the pandemic, which quickly secured the safety of Wintrust employees, and required a quick pivot to continue their service for clients virtually. But, Wintrust’s response to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan opportunity was even more impressive. “Our staff came together to deliver a 10-day turnaround on PPP loans when our clients were depending on those funds to get their

employees paid,” he said. “Overall, we lent more than $3.4 billion to assist more than 12,000 local businesses and secured more than 114,000 jobs. It was incredible to see.” In an impossibly uncertain time, Wehmer and Wintrust have provided much-needed constancy. “We’ve been just trying to be something reliable for our communities to count on,” Wehmer said. “We’ve been very lucky to be able to provide stability amidst so much uncertainty.” Wintrust stayed true to its sponsorship and other nonprofit commitments too. That’s why his image sat in the White Sox front row behind home plate for the season, even though he’s a life-long North Sider and Cubs fan. Learn more about the many nonprofits Wintrust supports, including Boys Hope Girls Hope, HFS Chicago Scholars, and My Block, My Hood, My City, at Looking to the future, an uneasy task during such uncertain times, Wehmer is optimistic. He’s hopeful for improved dynamics after the election and quick vaccine. “If there’s one thing I know for certain, it’s that America is resilient,” he said. “My hope is that we’ll come out of this stronger than ever.” –SN

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Giving Season

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The Sun Also Rises, group project, Snow City Arts

The pandemic-bred chaos of 2020 has distracted many of us from philanthropy, but need is greater than ever. Help by supporting the deserving nonprofits on page 48. But first, we take stock of why it’s not just a critical time to support those who are struggling, it also makes good financial sense to do it before the year ends. B E T T E R H O L I D AY 2 0 2 0 45

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Good Time to Give 2020 brought unprecedented need— as well as exceptional tax benefits for giving.

other studies have shown increases in giving, as people heed calls for help, especially from local food banks. If you are able to give this year, you could qualify for unprecedented tax benefits, thanks to the CARES Act COVID-19 response bill passed in March. The law allows individuals who itemize deductions to deduct up to 100 percent of adjusted gross income for qualified donations in 2020, compared to 60 percent of AGI in other years. For those who take the standard deduction, the law allows an additional deduction for charitable gifts of up to $300 per individual. “2020 has brought much hardship to many people and institutions, including charities. So many non-profit organizations can really use the extra charitable donations that they may receive,” said Ramsay Slugg, Managing Director in National Wealth

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s the pandemic rages on, organizations from food banks to disaster recovery efforts to bail funds continue to see greater demand for their services. As the year draws to a close, it’s time to take stock of how much we can give and select the most advantageous methods for giving. The past few years have registered record levels of charitable giving by Americans, with $450 billion donated in 2019, according to Giving USA, which publishes an annual report of philanthropy in the U.S. based on research by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Will the pandemic and associated recession interrupt the generosity trend? It’s not clear. More than half of US charities expect to raise less money this year, according to a May survey conducted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Yet



several million dollars to give choose to set up a charitable trust, or private family foundation. “Most family offices donate money to the charities that have special meaning to the family member[s],” says Ryan Liss, president of Caliber 88 Tax & Wealth Planning Services, in the Chicago area. “A family foundation allows them to create an entity which greatly furthers family unity and acts as a fantastic teaching tool for the younger generations.” Wealth planners can set up family trusts to provide benefits beyond tax deductions, such as a reliable income stream or estate planning functions, using a technique called split-interest giving. In this scenario, the donor sets up a charitable remainder trust that gives an asset to a charity while retaining the interest generated by that asset as income for the donor. At the end of life, because the asset is no longer part of the donor’s estate, this method can reduce estate taxes owed, if applicable. Finally, some givers prefer to delay some or all of their giving until the end of life, using bequests in their will or trust. This method safeguards you from running out of assets because you gave too generously. However, postponing generosity until the end of life has one big downside. “The main disadvantage is that they miss out on rather generous income tax benefits if they otherwise qualify to deduct the gift,” Slugg said.



Planning Strategies Group at Bank of America Private Bank. How much charitable giving can save you on taxes depends on your marginal personal income tax rate. For example, a person in the highest tax bracket of 37 percent, who itemizes deductions, will save about $370 on their tax bill for every $1,000 donated to a qualified charitable organization. Beyond simply writing a check, there are other, more complex ways to give to charity that may yield greater tax benefits, especially to high net worth taxpayers. But this can get complicated. “Not all assets are created the same, and it may be advisable to use stocks, bonds, real estate or other assets, as well as cash and checks, to make gifts. There are numerous rules in this area, so it is best to seek out competent counsel,” Slugg said. For instance, the use of donor-advised funds has been growing like crazy in the past decade, accounting for nearly 13 percent of all individual contributions in 2018, according to National Philanthropic Trust, which publishes an annual report on what it calls “the fastest-growing vehicle in philanthropy.” This is how a DAF works: The donor deposits money or other assets in the fund and reaps an immediate tax deduction. Once in the fund, the money grows tax free until the donor decides to grant it to a qualifying charitable organization. If you regularly give at least $5,000 a year, you might want to look into a DAF, Slugg said. Some high net worth individuals and families with at least

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THE 2020

Guide to Better Giving

This year has stretched us all in innumerable ways, so if you’re in a position to donate, your impact will be felt deeply by the organizations working hard to lift up our communities—and the people they’re helping. We’ve taken the guesswork out of your giving this holiday season by highlighting some of the most deserving Chicago and North Shore-based organizations making an impact during this trying time. BY MACAIRE DOUGLAS

BRUSHWOOD CENTER The Brushwood Center, which sits in the heart of the Ryerson Woods, has been preserving the natural area since

1984. The center serves to educate people on the benefits of nature and science-based education through the arts.

COMER EDUCATION CAMPUS The Comer Education Campus, consisting of the Gary Comer Youth Center, Gary Comer College Prep and Gary Comer High School, is a youth-supporting organization. Beyond academics, the teachers at Comer dedicate themselves to providing arts and career enrichment opportunities. Gary Comer was a native South Sider. He opened the

youth center in 2006, and since, the campus has been preparing youth to be college or career-bound, well-rounded individuals. The Comer Education Campus also accepts volunteers. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT HOUSE: HOUSE IN THE WOODS Funds raised help change a child’s life by offering them a chance to escape Chicago’s street violence and experience a safe place to learn, grow and simply be a kid. 1,000 children from Chicago’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods experience outdoor education sessions with a STEM curriculum during the school year, and residential summer camp. SNOW CITY ARTS This organization, a 2015 Philanthropy Award winner, helps bring art of all kinds to children in hospitals through one-on-one sessions with a variety of artists. Currently, Snow City has had to suspend on-site programming at all hospitals in order to ensure the health and well-being of its clients. That means it’s even more important to provide monetary support so the program can get up and running again as soon as the pandemic winds down.


Arts & Entertainment

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The American Red Cross helps people whose lives have been upended by wildfires, storms, floods, and countless other crises. A donation will not only help with immediate needs like food and shelter, it also will put people on the road to recovery and guide communities as they better prepare for disasters. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total of $100,000 thanks to a generous Matching Gift Challenge funded by: Virginia Blankenbaker Cynthia Helle Ray and Judy McCormack Susan and Nick Noyes Jenny B. Stoddard Jan Tratnik and Tim McPike media-pub.html

Domestic Violence A SAFE PLACE A Safe Place gives women options and resources to share their

experiences and set goals for themselves. Children’s counselors provide children who are witnesses of domestic violence an outlet to deal with their experiences and feelings. WINGS As one of the largest domestic violence service and housing programs in the state of Illinois, WINGS provides individual women and women with children a temporary, safe shelter and assistance that allows them to set goals, work to achieve them, continue their education and care for themselves and their children.


Food A JUST HARVEST Located in the Roger’s Park neighborhood of Chicago, A Just Harvest aims to fight poverty and hunger in the north side of Chicago. Besides directly providing food

for the hungry, A Just Harvest also spends their time with community organization and outreach. Before the pandemic, the organization fed an average of 170 individuals a night. A Just Harvest also accepts volunteers. HILLSIDE FOOD PANTRY You may donate shelf-stable, canned, and/ or packaged food items to this Evanston food pantry. LAKEVIEW PANTRY Lakeview Pantry has been feeding hungry people in Chicago since 1970 and with the job market as unstable as it is, they’re likely to be feeding a lot more hungry people in the coming months. They are currently seeking donations of nonperishable, unopened foods as well as personal hygiene, bathroom and cleaning supplies. NORTHERN ILLINOIS FOOD BANK Northern Illinois Food Bank is the source of nutritious food, innovative feeding programs, and hope for more than 71,000 people each week. As a nonprofit organization with a goal of solving hunger in their 13-county service area, they rely on community partners such as local food pantries and feeding programs, food manufacturers and retailers, companies, foundations, and individuals to join them so no one is hungry in northern Illinois. THE VOLUNTEER CENTER OF NORTHEAST METRO CHICAGO The Volunteer Center helps connect eager volunteers to organizations and opportunities around the greater northeast Chicagoland area. Working with more than 165 nonprofit organizations, the center sponsors four (and more) annual community Days of Service. The center’s mission states that they aim to “promote volunteerism, support nonprofit organizations, and engage people in meaningful volunteer service in the communities we serve.

YWCA Evanston/ North Shore Our Mission YWCA Evanston/North Shore is a social justice organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women.

What We Do We work at the individual, community, and system levels by combining direct service to women and children with training, education, and advocacy in four interconnected areas: • Domestic Violence Services: Crisis intervention, shelter, counseling, and legal advocacy help survivors and their children get safe, heal from trauma, and take control of their own futures. • Women’s Economic Advancement: Money management, in-demand job training, and employment and housing supports build economic security and housing stability. • Equity Institute: Training and education, community engagement programs, awareness-building events, and advocacy promote racial and gender equity. • Flying Fish Aquatics: Swim lessons and swim team opportunities ensure all children have equal access to water safety instruction so they will be safe in and around the water.

Our Women’s Resale Shops 100% of profits from our two shops for women support our mission: • YWCA Shop for Good, a resale boutique at 1107 Central Ave. in Wilmette • YWCA Crowded Closet, a consignment shop at 820 Dempster St. in Evanston

Learn more at

1215 Church Street, Evanston, IL 60201 847.864.8445 • B E T T E R H O L I D AY 2 0 2 0 49

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FORWARD4TOBI FOUNDATION The Forward4Tobi Foundation aims to help ease the lives of breast cancer patients and their families by providing financial relief. The foundation covers childcare, medical assistance, rent and other needs. Tom Klonecki established the foundation in 2013 in honor of Tobi Lauren Klonecki when Tobi lost her battle with breast cancer that year. The Forward4Tobi Foundation also accepts volunteers.

Housing & Anti-Poverty A SAFE HAVEN FOUNDATION A Safe Haven

provides housing for individuals and families whose lives have been impacted by addiction. A Philanthropy Awards winner and a Warming Hearts & Hands recipient, A Safe Haven has served more than 65,000 people. Additionally, the foundation supports military veterans, as well as those discharged from local jails and prisons. CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO Created as a central Catholic charity in Chicago in 1917, Catholic Charities has grown to become one of the largest agencies in the Midwest, helping more than 1 million people each year. The Housing Service Area provides safe and affordable housing for individuals and families. With emergency shelters, transitional and permanent housing, senior residences, housing for those with disabilities, and one nursing home, Catholic Charities provides safe and supportive communities for people throughout Chicago and its suburbs. CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT FUTURES Searching for solutions to enable those with disabilities to live a life full of opportunities, the organization emphasizes choice and encourages responsibility. The New Futures Initiative helps families find

housing solutions for their loved ones with disabilities. DEBORAH’S PLACE Deborah’s Place is all about opportunity. By providing women with supportive housing and services, they help women heal, set and achieve goals and move on from the experience of homelessness. HEARTLAND ALLIANCE As one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, their mission is to advance human rights and respond to human needs of endangered populations by providing appropriate services and promoting permanent solutions that will lead to a more just global society. H.O.M.E. (HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES & MAINTENANCE FOR THE ELDERLY) H.O.M.E is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Chicago’s low-income elderly, helping seniors remain independent and ensuring that they continue to be a part of their community by providing a variety of housing support services. IGNITE — FUTURES WITH PROMISE This organization works to help teens experiencing homelessness and unstable housing, and these at-risk youth are even more at-risk in our current environment. MERCY HOME Originally serving as a refuge for homeless boys that crowded the city’s streets, Mercy Home has since expanded into a haven for more than 200 boys and girls in their West Loop and South Side campuses. The treatment homes at Mercy provide children, ages 9-21, with a safe and nurturing environment where they can receive the necessary support and mentoring needed to turn their lives around and have successful futures. NIGHT MINISTRY The Night Ministry has touched thousands of members of the Chicago community struggling with poverty or homelessness by offering outreach

services like the Health Outreach Bus that offers medical exams, treatment and HIV testing, short-term housing and transitional living programs, and human connections, such as their Youth Outreach Program that offers non-judgmental support and guidance to homeless and LGBT youth in the Lakeview area. thenight SARAH’S CIRCLE Sarah’s Circle provides housing and a safe space to women in the Chicago area. With educational programming, clinical services and more, the organization is a refuge for women in need.

Where to Donate ANN & ROBERT H. LURIE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF CHICAGO Consider giving toys to patients at Lurie Children’s. Due to health concerns, Lurie can only accept new, recently purchased toys and games for children of all ages. BEACON PLACE Beacon Place is a community center in southeast Waukegan with programs for kids and adults that allow them to see a path toward their own brighter tomorrow by building the life skills they need, to achieve the dreams that they want. BERNIE’S BOOK BANK Bernie’s Book Bank collects new and gently used children’s books to distribute to at-risk homes throughout the Chicagoland area. Each child the organization serves receives at least 12 books a year. BOOKS4CAUSE Donate gently used books to Books4Cause, an organization that, through used book donations, has created 20 libraries in Africa, and keeps books out of landfills. All K-12 books given to the organization are donated, and 13 percent of other book donations are sold while the rest are given away or recycled.

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OPEN BOOKS Open Books collects used books to sell in their Pilsen and West Loop stores and online. The money collected helps fund book granting programs for thousands of students around Chicago each year. The organization accepts “any sellable book in good condition,” as well as LPs, CDs and DVDs. REFUGEEONE By providing opportunities and goods, RefugeeOne helps refugees fleeing war and persecution from all parts of the world. The organization is currently accepting backpacks and school supplies, but donation needs vary by month.

BROWN ELEPHANT RESALE SHOPS Brown Elephant supports Howard Brown Health using money earned from the resale of donated items. Bring in any upholstered furniture, tables, dressers, bookcases, and more. brown-elephant CONNECTIONS FOR THE HOMELESS Another charity that serves the indigent population of Chicago, Connections for the Homeless is seeking canned and shelf-stable foods, adult clothing (men’s boots and belts) and new, unopened toiletries and healthcare items. They are not currently accepting other clothing items or household items.


CRADLES TO CRAYONS Providing low-income and homeless children with clothes, books, school supplies and more, Cradles to Crayons helps serve nearly 200,000 children living in poverty in Chicago. DRESS FOR SUCCESS CHICAGO Gently used suits and professional apparel donations allow Dress for Success to provide interview outfits for women, supporting them in their efforts to achieve their career

goals. The program also offers guidance and support for women who have an upcoming interview. Donations must be clean and ironed, and no more than five years old. worldwidecentral.dressfor FILL A HEART 4 KIDS Fill a Heart 4 Kids’ mission is to help vulnerable homeless youth and foster children living in institutions to feel loved and remembered through a special gift-giving program. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY RESTORE All proceeds from the ReStore go to Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that works to provide families with affordable, safe housing and has built 90 homes in Chicago neighborhoods. restores NORTH SHORE EXCHANGE Made possible by the Woman’s Library Club of Glencoe, North Shore Exchange supports charities that provide human services and education to low-income families in the Midwest.

SHARE OUR SPARE Change a child’s life with a donation of diapers, strollers and more. Drop off, or schedule a pick-up for their most requested items. VILLAGE TREASURE HOUSE All proceeds from this Northbrook nonprofit support 17 local agencies serving women and families in crisis. Small furniture items can be dropped off during business hours, and larger items must be previewed before donating. WORLD RELIEF CHICAGO World Relief Chicago provides cleaning supplies, linens, toiletries, kitchen items, furniture and more to immigrants and refugees who have fled their countries due to war and displacement. donateitems MORE WAYS TO HELP: It’s our mission to make it easy for you to support your community. Get involved by participating in an upcoming fundraiser (p. 65), doing your holiday shopping at a local business (p. 25), ordering takeout from a local restaurant (, and signing up for our Better Letter, where we keep you up to date on the best ways to support local restaurants, shops, and nonprofits (better. net/subscribe).

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The Lake County Community Foundation Want to give but wondering where to start?

What We Do We provide a trusted, permanent

The Lake County Community Foundation (LCCF) is your charitable compass to help you navigate your giving!

home to support your philanthropic goals by identifying your passions to make the most impact with your gifts.

LCCF’s mission is to improve the quality of life of the county’s most vulnerable residents. We serve as Lake County’s go-to philanthropic resource by supporting local nonprofits through our grant making to address basic human needs in our county and pooling the financial resources of individuals, families and organizations to drive positive change and make Lake County a better place for all.

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How We Support Your Philanthropy Whether you want to create a Donor Advised Fund, support a particular community need or are considering a bequest to a favorite nonprofit, let us support you. There are countless ways to give. For example, a donor specified in her will that a fund be created and held at LCCF to permanently support special projects at a local school district. This fund continues to enrich students and her legacy lives on. Another donor recently opened a fund to involve her children and create a family culture of philanthropy.

Together, we can transform your vision into a powerful charitable legacy!

The Lake County Community Foundation 847.377.0520 x22 • 1200 University Center Drive, Suite 333 Grayslake, IL 60030

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Navy Pier is Chicago’s iconic cultural lakefront destination. A non-profit since 2011, we offer free, year-round programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and around the globe. Your contribution ensures that Navy Pier continues to be a valuable and accessible resource to the local and global community. Learn more about our mission at

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A 1930s Oak Park Tudor gets a modern update, plus the latest trends in furniture design.

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This page: The velvet bar stools from Mod Shop inspired the dusty rose accent hues in the kitchen by KitchenLab Interiors; A chandelier by Jonathan Adler chandelier plays off the brass straps in the custom hood—just two of the many brass elements in the newly remodeled kitchen. Opposite page: The breakfast area and kitchen are open to one another and the adjacent formal dining room, creating one large space that’s ideal for entertaining.






OAK PARK IS KNOWN FOR ITS DAZZLING HODGEPODGE of historic housing styles, and that mix appealed to Jeff and Deb Cogan, who moved there from the city when their two young children were born. “I’m a history buff, and I love architecture and art,” says Deb, who volunteers as a docent at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. “The houses in Oak Park have this living, breathing history.” B E T T E R H O L I D AY 2 0 2 0 5 7

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That’s certainly the case for their own home, a 1930s-era brick Tudor with leaded glass windows and a distinctive turret on an ample corner lot. However, especially after living there for a while, the couple realized that some of the design elements were better left in the past. The kitchen was tiny, for example, acting as a bottleneck to the breakfast area—an uninsulated addition that felt cold all winter. And frankly, it needed a facelift. To help them address those problems while maintaining a period feel, the couple hired KitchenLab Interiors founder, Rebekah Zaveloff, who has thoughtfully renovated many old homes in the area, including several featured on the annual Kitchen Walk. “Rebekah combines vintage and modern in a way that feels timeless,” she says. After the young family decamped into a rented apartment, Zaveloff, along with project designer, Katherine Andrejevic, and builder, Gideon Lipnickas, of New Concept 180, kicked off the renovation. To enhance the flow and create more space, they eliminated a pantry, replaced the door between the kitchen and dining room with a larger arched opening and flipped the location of the breakfast area and kitchen—just a few of the many changes. Now brighter and larger, the newly renovated kitchen is outfitted with classic white perimeter cabinetry, light quartzite countertops and a beveled subway tile backsplash. The crisp white perimeter is juxtaposed by a slate-blue center island underneath a mod chandelier by Jonathan Adler—one of many brass elements throughout, including the outlet plates by Forbes & Lomax, which Zaveloff antiqued in her studio. The warm metal flows into the breakfast area, where brass mesh doors with a diamond grill elevate the new built-in cabinetry flanking the entrance to the formal dining room. An abstract painting atop a graphic wall covering by Phillip Jeffries takes things up a notch, creating a dramatic backdrop for a vintage walnut pedestal table paired with a linen-covered bench and oak and leather chairs. “I know Deb wouldn’t be satisfied with basic, so we kept adding layers,” Zaveloff says. “We kind of went all out, and I just love the way it turned out.” The designer ’s favorite spot is the spacious, light-filled butler’s pantry. There, a light tone-on-tone wallcovering from Lee Jofa

complements the wood-paneled backsplash and custom cabinetry, where Zaveloff re-used leaded windows from an original built-in that didn’t survive the renovation. In front of the window, a walnut-topped desk serves as an ideal space for Deb to work. “It’s sunny and bright, so it’s great for Zoom calls,” she explains. Entertaining is also a pleasure in the newly redesigned abode. One of their first soirees was a Halloween tea party attended by throngs of children. As the parents conversed in the dining area, they could easily keep an eye on the costumed kids in the breakfast area, where they dined on dough-wrapped hot dog mummies, “witches fingers,” and pumpkin-shaped cookies.

BETTER SPACES: For more stunning homes, design inspiration, and the hottest properties on the market, visit

“It’s fun to be here,” Deb says. “It’s fresh, open, sunny, elegant and usable a ll at the same time.”

This page: Formerly the site of the kitchen, the breakfast area flows into the well-appointed butler's pantry and the new mudroom. Opposite page, (clockwise from top left): Painted wood wall paneling, a built-in bench and porcelain tile flooring completely transform the mudroom while paying homage to the home’s history. “It’s important to balance warm and cool tones,” says interior designer, Rebekah Zaveloff; Timeless is the idea in the newly renovated master bathroom, which sports octagon floor tile, subway wall tile and an elegant painted vanity with brass hardware; When the brass outlets covers from Forbes & Lomax arrived a bit too shiny, interior designer, Rebekah Zaveloff, antiqued them by hand; A pull-out drawer with upright storage for knives and cutting boards is one of the many conveniences in this Oak Park kitchen renovation by KitchenLab Interiors; Not just a place for additional storage, the handsome butler’s pantry also includes a built-in desk with a walnut top. The chandelier is from Arteriors.

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CITIZEN CHAIR by Konstantin Grcic

for Vitra features a powder-coated steel frame and polyurethane foam seating in a variety of fabrics. $3,705 (low back, as shown) or $5,045 (high back with feather neck pillow); 312-585-9600 and


PIPER CHAIR is made in Vietnam

and features an exotic hardwood frame, two-toned wood arms and faux fur upholstery. $1,794;


features a powder-coated steel frame and upholstered shell in various fabric options. $1,720; 312-431-0100

SUIT by Monica Forster for Artifort

features a metal insert frame covered with molded form upholstered in various leather and fabric options. $1,458;, 312-432-0100


HUNT is made in the USA and features a walnut base and a variety of upholstery options. To the trade only at (Chicago) 312-661-1900 and

is handcrafted in Bali, Indonesia, from natural matte Javanese teak and features a semi-vegetable tanned leather seat and back. $995;


by GamFratesi for Gubi features a metal frame with black American walnut armrests and various upholstery options. From $3,495;

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BYRON SOFA is made in Italy and

features an aluminum base and optional removable bolster armrests. Available in a wide variety of configurations, sizes, fabrics, and leathers. $6,100 (as shown);

PIERSON SOFA is made in Texas and features a bench-made hardwood frame with webbing seat suspension. From $2,599; 312-222-0970

PACHA 3-SEATER SOFA designed by

Pierre Paulin for Gubi features a black wood base and suede upholstery (as shown). From $9,595;

TORII SOFA by Nendo for Minotti features a metal frame and a backrest with vertical quilting. Available in 100% eco leather (as shown) or 100% fabric or fabric with leather base. Price upon request at

BETTER SPACES: For more home dĂŠcor and design inspiration, expert advice from industry leaders, and stunning pieces by local artisans, visit

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WENDY COHEN Wendy Cohen has been a catalyst for change in the luxury design, build, and real estate industry for over 30 years. She has successfully inspired the growth of some of the most recognized design, construction and development firms in the country. Her combined companies under the PowerHouse umbrella give her a unique perspective on the ‘best of the best’, including a focus on building collaborative relationships and the ability to help others grow personally and professionally. Wendy founded PowerHouse SMART®, with the goal of bringing together leaders to foster growth, while sharing the membership directory with luxury consumers. Wendy’s PowerHouse Recruiting firm, emerged as a result of the success of her PowerHouse Advisors consultancy. She has realized her dreams by connecting thousands of candidates, and in turn helping her clients find the ideal fit for their respective teams. The upcoming 2021 PowerHouse SMART Luxury Conference will extend its unique collaborative efforts nationally, by offering virtual education sessions with distinctive speakers, influencers and celebrities, architect/builder team project tours, expert panels, and luxury consumer focus groups.

Wendy’s vision of building meaningful, long lasting relationships came to fruition when she founded her innovative companies. Whether an employer is looking to hire new staff or a talented candidate is in search of his or her next career opportunity, the beneficial relationships she fosters lead to mutual success and growth. Wendy spent several years as an Executive Board member for Designs for Dignity (D4D). Due to her long-standing connection with the 501c3, D4D has been the recipient of charitable contributions from the annual Luxury Conference (a percentage of ticket sales are designated toward the organization), since the event’s inception. D4D is celebrating 20 years of commitment to creating restorative environments for nonprofit service organizations and at-risk populations. Using the power of design, D4D has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of lives by transforming 250+ nonprofit spaces and leveraging $17+ million in pro-bono design services and donated materials. Wendy remains passionate about cultivating long lasting relationships, philanthropic pursuits and inspiring change. Make it Better Media Group proudly joins Wendy, her PowerHouse Companies and Designs for Dignity in sharing the vision to make it better one relationship at a time. PHSLUXURYCONFERENCE.COM

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PAUL JENKINS 1923 - 2012 Paul Jenkins is known for pouring paint onto canvas and creating veils of translucent and luminous color which have characterized his work since the 1950s. The paintings of Jenkins have come to represent the spirit, vitality, and invention of post World War II American abstraction. Over more than seven decades, Jenkins’ paintings have been widely exhibited around the world. He has had seven major retrospectives at American and European museums. “Phenomena Hit the Tiger at Center” 1968 Acrylic on canvas 36x72 inches

“Beyond right and wrong there is a garden. I’ll meet you there.” Rumi

Robert Green Fine Arts, established 1969, exhibits primarily painterly, abstract expressive work by painters that thoroughly take advantage of the sensually evocative nature of color and form.

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Out & About


Embracing the Outdoors


On the cusp of a Covid winter, we look forward to the magical holiday season more than ever.

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E D I T E D B Y A L E X I S M I L L E R & M AC A I R E D O U G L A S

Maggie Daley Park

Although the third wave of Covid-19 is causing closures and more pivots, there are still memories to be made. So, cozy up and head outdoors to make some holiday magic! Just remember to mask up and follow all social distancing precautions. The Rose Garden at The Darling Chicago The Darling has taken fall dining to a new — and more chic — level. You can enjoy a “winter warmer” menu with friends and family from inside a Greenhouse in their Rose Garden! How beautiful is that? Reservations required. 905 W. Randolph St, Chicago

Hackney’s on Harms Igloo Dining Visit a long time North Shore favorite Hackney’s on Harms for a winter dining experience you won’t forget! Cozy up inside a heated igloo-shaped dome, filled with twinkle lights as the snow falls around you! 1241 Harms Road, Glenview

OPENS NOV. 20 Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park This year, limited spots are by reservation to allow skaters to safely skate and social distance! Masks are required while skating and at all times at Maggie Daley park. 337 E. Randolph St, Chicago

THRU NOV. 30 “The Flowers of Monet” at the Garfield Park Conservatory Can you smell it from here? The Garfield Park Conservatory has transformed its Artist’s Garden into a reallife replica of some of Claude Monet’s famous works of art — his flower paintings. 300 N. Central Park Ave, Chicago

DEC. 1 - 31 Stream Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” This year, Goodman Theatre is giving the community a gift with their free audio streaming of “A Christmas Carol.” Tune in to the voices you love—including Larry Yando as Scrooge—and their signature soundscape, as this classic comes to life at home. carol DEC. 2 A Fireside Chat with Steve Galanis Cameo is a playful platform that enables you to receive or send personalized messages

from celebrities. Join Cameo co-founder and CEO Steve Galanis for a conversation, moderated by Amber Case of Calm Technology, about the platform’s success and what’s next. DEC. 3 Adler Astronomy Live Stargazers, here is your chance to interact with astronomers and science historians virtually on the Adler Planetarium’s YouTube page. The free event features diverse voices in STEM, eye-popping space visualizations, cutting edge research and space science news

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and more. adler DEC. 4 – 5 Chalet Nursery Winter Evergreen Signature Planter Workshop Learn to make an exquisite winter planter arrangement in this virtual class! Pick up or have your materials delivered, sign on virtually, and make your own stunning 12” arrangement with gorgeous seasonal greens. DEC. 5 Winter Made in Chicago Market: Virtual Edition Talented local sellers, makers, and crafters have joined forces to put together this fun, festive virtual holiday shopping event featuring workshops, giveaways, and—of course—great gifts. madeinchicago DEC. 6 Virtual Cats & Mats Yoga Start your Sunday off right with the Anti-Cruelty Society by participating in a virtual yoga class with your favorite feline. anti THRU DEC. 7 Dreams For Kids Toy Drive The Dreams For Kids organization is rearranging their annual Holiday for Hope Toy Wrapping Party due to Covid-19, and this year they have teamed up with The Jesse White Foundation for a Toy Drive. DEC. 13 The Chris White Trio Tribute to A Charlie Brown Christmas There are a lot of soundtracks that cue the Christmas

memories, one being the unforgettable soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Experience the nostalgia by stopping by the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Cafe Brauer to hear the Chris White Jazz Trio cover Vince Guaraldi’s famous tracks. 7-8 p.m. Lincoln Park Zoo’s Cafe Brauer, 2021 N Stockton Dr, Chicago DEC. 13 Attila In Concert The Lyric Opera concert of Attila has not been canceled; however, it will now be available on Lyrics Opera’s YouTube channel and its Facebook page. 6 p.m. DEC. 15 Virtual Onboarding During the Pandemic: How to Give New Employees a Running Start Tune in to hear Tracy Brower, Principal, Applied Research + Consulting, Steelcase; Author, Bring Work to Life; Contributor, Forbes. com and Fast Company, discuss new hires in a pandemic. She will talk about how onboarding has changed for companies during Covid-19. Furthermore, she will touch on how to make a new employee feel connected while working virtually, all the while trying to instill the company’s values and cultures in the new team’s addition. THRU DEC. 27 Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish - The Musical This virtual musical, which tells the magical story of a North Pole doll named Eleanor who makes the

Editors' Pick: Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season NOV. 17 Their Service, Our Gratitude: A Virtual Celebration for Veterans This virtual benefit will support the Road Home Program at Rush in their mission to heal the invisible wounds these individuals face as a result of their service to our country. Although we’re unable to come together in person, we can still change the course of a veteran’s life by raising funds to provide specialized mental health services, peerto-peer outreach, counseling and other resources necessary to transition from military to civilian life — regardless of their ability to pay. roadhome NOV. 19 Covenant House Sleep Out Help kids without a safe space to sleep or call home by joining Covenant House's Sleep Out. Either sleep on the streets to help raise awareness and lifesaving funds to give kids safe shelter and opportunity, or support the event virtually by posting a message of hope and lighting a candle online with a donation. sleepout

NOV. 19 Chicago United Virtual Bridge Awards Celebration Join Chicago’s premier event celebrating excellence in diversity within corporate governance. The virtual program will discover the thought leadership of diversity and inclusion innovators, build relationships among leaders that share common values, and influence the development of the next generation of multiracial leaders. events/chicagounited NOV. 22 Purple Path Presents Dr. Shan Jones’ One Woman Comedy Show & 40th Bday Bash Comedy queen, Dr. Jones will be putting on a stand-up show based on her journey from poverty to restoration. All proceeds will go to the following four nonprofits: It Could Be Your Kid; Bag Lady Outreach; American Association of Single Parenting, Inc; and ForeverU. NOV. 26 Thanksgiving Morning “Share Your Bounty” Event Help The Volunteer Center collect food for those in need during their Day of Service. Donations will help families at the Good News Partners low-income and

subsidized housing in Rogers Park. volunteercenterhelps. org/vc-days-of-service NOV. 26 - DEC. 1 Walk For Love Though this Turkey Trot may look a bit different as it will be virtual, the impact will look the same. Register today to be a part of the Greenville Virtual Turkey Trot in support of Shriners Hospital For Children. events/greenvilleturkey-trot-and-roll NOV. 26 - DEC. 1 Shriner’s Turkey Trot and Roll Get a group together and get going for a good cause! This first virtual Turkey Trot & Roll benefits go to Shriners Hospital for Children – Greenville, where a family’s ability to pay does not come into play. shrinershospitals DEC. 12 JDRF One Dream Virtual Gala Join JDRF on Saturday, December 12 and help open doors to a world free from type 1 diabetes (T1D). This year's event will bring all your favorite parts of the Gala right to your home including a robust silent and live auction, inspirational stories from the T1D community, and live entertainment. one-dream-gala DEC. 13 WINGS 18th Annual Virtual Sweet Home Chicago family holiday brunch Support families impacted by domestic violence, who need help more than ever. This virtual event will deliver the Sweet Home Chicago package directly to you, including your favorite festive eats, treats and activities to enjoy at home with family and friends. upcoming-event/ sweet-home-chicago-4 JAN. 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service During The Volunteer Center’s Day of service, you can participate in many different service projects in support of multiple area nonprofits, and share your thoughts about Dr. King, service and social justice. volunteercenterhelps. org/vc-days-of-service

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Out and About / CALENDAR

Christmas wish for a new home, is sure to be a hit for the whole family. Upon your purchase you can select the party pack which will include a copy of the book, games and stationary. THRU DEC. 30 Reindeer at Chalet Nursery Get in the festive spirit at Chalet Nursery by surrounding yourself with lights, the smell of fresh trees (for sale!), and reindeer! 3132 Lake Ave, Wilmette THRU DEC. 30 Virtual Christkindlmarket Chicago You can

still attend the Christkindlmarket this December; just trade your hats and gloves for slippers and a throw and make your purchases online. DEC. 31 Chicago New Year’s Eve 5K Join the Chicago Sport and Social Club for a 5K through Chicago’s Lincoln Park and the Lakefront. End the 3.1 miles with a toast to your morning accomplishment as you kick off the celebrations into a new year!

Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Reserve your tickets for a socially distanced experience here: ilholocaustmuseum. org/rbg


THRU JAN. 3 Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Don’t miss the final

weeks of this amazing special exhibit about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life at the Illinois

THRU JAN. 3 LondonHouse Rudolph Rooftop Pop-Up Celebrate the holiday season in a wintry wonderful with beautiful views of the city. The pop-up will feature outdoor igloos, an Ice Bar and comforting fare.

Tickets required. JAN 9. Let It Shine – Drive-Thru Light Show Head to Northbrook Court for a socially distanced drive-through light show. Nothing says holiday spirit quite like lights shining bright! 1515 Lake Cook Road, Northbrook

BETTER PLANS For the latest events and local highlights, visit


perienced and r my ideas. She materials and


• Hilary has a contemporary vision and eclectic style that matches my own, and such a calm and professional demeanor that she can walk me through decisions that I know I would not make on my own. - NANCY H., Chicago

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1866 north halsted street, coach house design • Hilary completely understood our budget restrictions, lifestyle and needs. I learned a lothilary just bailes from interior hilary bailes interior design chicago, illinios 60614 1866 north halsted street, coach house 1866 north halsted street, coach house being around her very skilled eye for design. As you can imagine, I would HIGHLY recommend chicago, illinios773.368.5051 60614 chicago, illinios 60614 773.368.5051 using Hilary to make your home a more beautiful space! - NEHA D., Chicago 773.368.5051

• I recently hired Hilary to design the renovation of my kitchen and dining / living areas in keeping with the Victorian style which relates to my 120 year old home. Her knowledge and experience were invaluable in creating a beautiful space that integrates my existing collections with the original concept. I highly recommend her. - AMY Z., Chicago HilaryBailes_1220_FNL.indd 1

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Out and About / FLAVOR

Home For The Holidays With Mari Katsumura BY AMBER GIBSON


ari Katsumura, executive chef

at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Yūgen, grew up in a restaurant family. Her parents ran the lengendary Yoshi’s Café in Lakeview and Mari and her brother Ken grew up right above the restaurant. Here, Mari shares some of her favorite holiday food traditions and plans for Yūgen. What were some of your favorite childhood holiday meals? I think for any family where you have a chef, the whole things revolves quite a bit around food. Due to the nature of the beast, my parents would always have to work, but we would make the time outside of that to celebrate with the family. I understood that these were really special times because both my parents would invest so much of their time. These are big days for us as restaurant industry people. Thanksgiving has to be one of my

favorite holidays. They would invite lots of Yoshi’s staff and their friends and family as well. We’d clear out all the tables and make a big family size huge rectangle for everybody. My dad would usually make three turkeys—one Asian-style with Japanese fried rice inside, one would be American-style with French fries inside which I thought was genius and one more traditional with stuffing. Thanksgiving was also a potluck, so a lot of friends would bring food—cold soba with dipping sauce, sushi and small Japanese appetizers. It was really funny to see the juxtaposition of having turkey on your plate, plus soba with dashi and sushi rolls. But that was really normal for us. You and your brother Ken are both chefs, so what are holidays for your family like now? Since my father passed four years ago, there are things my brother will make that my dad used to make. He’ll do

this lamb chop on the bone with mustard glaze and herbed panko, which was one of my favorite things. He’ll do that usually for Thanksgiving and I really look forward to it because it reminds me of my dad. Now that they’re doing the smokehouse thing at Yoshi’s every Sunday, Ken’s getting really into BBQ and smoking meats and charcuterie. I’ll handle anything pastry related or fill in the gaps in between. There always ends up being way too much food. And what about Christmas and New Year’s? We’ll have a fake Christmas during our January break. But I will say that New Year’s Day has always been a really big thing in my family and for Japanese people. There are very specific foods that you eat on New Year’s Day to celebrate a bountiful New Year, with little metaphors behind each one, and there’s a level of superstition. You eat a lot of fish eggs so you can be a good provider in the New Year. You eat soba on New Year’s Eve because the longer the noodle, the longer your life. My mom always orders special lacquered bento boxes for New Year’s that DINE BETTER: Learn how Chef Mari and three other top Chicago chefs assemble the perfect dish at better .net/perfectdish.

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have several layers to them. We used to get them special order from Katsu restaurant and some older Japanese generation restaurants will still make them. Yamasho has them for pre-order. It’s one of my favorite Japanese home Chicago traditions. What are your holiday plans for Yūgen? We are closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but New Year’s is a big one for us—two seatings, Champagne toast, lots of luxury ingredients. I’ll try to make it special. We’ll have all the favorites like crab rice, but with lobster. New Year’s is the big one for us. Do you have any dishes on the menu at Yūgen that pay tribute to your father? On New Year’s my dad would always do a full lobster split in half with motoyaki sauce charbroiled on top, and that was truly one of my favorite things. We have the motoyaki sauce now on our tasting menu, served with an Alaskan king crab canapé, and it holds a place in my heart. That’s one family recipe that does remind me of the holidays. It’s so tough right now for restaurants, especially fine dining concepts like Yūgen. How has your

reopening been? I think the reopening has been quite successful. We have three active revenue streams – the main dining room, grab-and-go and our outdoor patio. The grab-and-go is like a Japanese convenience store with Japanese sandwiches, buildyour-own ramen or carbonara and lots of sides like Japanese potato salad, spicy edamame, and gomae green beans. Plus, we have really cute pastries like matcha canelé and Okinawa sweet potato éclairs. Kaisho, the patio, is a tiki takeover concept with all skewered items grilled on binchotan. One of my favorite meals in Japan is yakitori. It doesn’t really exist here in America the same way. It’s just funny that the most casual, basic experience is one of my favorites in Japan. I just wanted to replicate that. The chicken is the star and it’s jidori chicken. We get in whole chickens and break them down piece by piece, so it’s a laborious process. We aren’t sure how long we’ll continue with outdoor seating right now, but we’re working on a satellite situation, some collaborations with other people who have food trucks, so we’ll see what happens.

Mari’s Matcha White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Shake up your usual holiday cookie routine with these festively hued, gluten-free goodies. “These gluten-free matcha white chocolate chip cookies are offered in our grab-and-go store and people seem to really, really love them. It’s just a little twist on something familiar, but still accessible.” Ingredients 1 cup unsalted butter, tempered 1 cup brown sugar ½ cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour or 4 cup gluten-free flour 1/8 cup matcha powder 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract 2 cups white chocolate chips Directions 1 Place tempered butter, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes with a paddle attachment). 2 Add eggs one at a time until incorporated. 3 Add all dry ingredients at once, followed by chocolate chips and paddle until evenly combined. Try not to over mix. 4 Portion into 2 oz. scoops on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Bake at 400 F for 6 to 9 minutes or until done. 5 Cool and enjoy.

BETTER RECIPES: From delicious desserts to inventive side dishes, find the perfect recipe to round out your holiday meal at

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Better Makers



SARAH’S CIRCLE: Sarah’s Circle’s Annual Beer Fest Fundraiser Brought Home Happy Hour! From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic early this spring, Sarah’s Circle, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness for women in Chicago, knew that despite any impending challenges, their doors had to stay open. More than seven months into the pandemic, they have stayed true to that commitment. To mitigate the anticipated costs associated with an increased demand for their services, including those provided through a new Uptown facility, Sarah’s on Sheridan, it was clear that Sarah’s Circle’s annual Beer Fest fundraiser needed to go on as planned. Moving the fundraiser online while keeping the spirit of the event alive was a challenge the staff and Associates Board, who served as the

Associates Board Members participated in a Sarah's Circle-themed trivia game

planning committee for Beer Fest, met head on. Beer Fest is typically a fun happy hour event featuring a live band, paddle raise, and auction as well as an accompanying silent auction. With the help of the event’s “house band,” The Exceptions of Northern Trust (a group of bankers that can really jam!), much of the in-person event was successfully translated to a virtual platform. A mix of upbeat song covers, inspiring messages from clients and staff, and a Sarah’s Circle-themed trivia game, ensured the event’s success— raising more than $38,000! To learn more about Sarah’s Circle, visit their website at

IMPACT Sarah’s Circle Interim Housing Clients pose for a photo for a past Annual Report. Though the pandemic has been excruciating for unhoused people everywhere, Sarah's Circle is hopeful that it has underscored the need for affordable housing in communities across the city.


WINGS: Chicagoans Come Together to End Domestic Violence

WINGS is a Chicago-based non-profit dedicated to providing housing, integrated services, education and advocacy for victims of domestic violence. One in three women experience domestic violence every day while one in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Since 1985, WINGS has been a ruthless fighter for those affected by domestic violence. Covid-19 couldn’t stop the generosity of WINGS supporters, so on Oct. 3, 400 people came together to virtually for the 20th annual WINGS Purple Tie Ball fundraiser. Entertaining Company delivered guests a special “Gala in a Bag,” which included dinner, wine, hand sanitizer, chocolates, and a program book. That evening, 80 dinner deliveries were made across the Chicagoland area to participating guests. Guests enjoyed music by the band Maggie Speaks and listened to impassioned speeches about the scourge of domestic violence and the ways that WINGS is working to break the cycle. “We are overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of the attendees of the Purple Tie Ball,” said Rebecca Darr, President and CEO of WINGS. “Your generosity will support so many families who are escaping domestic violence.” $325,000 was raised during a donating period from Oct. 3–19. Jillvona accepted the David K. Hill award, an award given to an outstanding WINGS graduate each year. Presenting sponsors were Rita and John Canning and lead sponsors were Melissa and Mike Canning, David Herro and Jay Franke, and Jackie and Glenn Tilton. For a full list Dana Kozlov, the event emcee from CBS Chicago, backstage with WINGS crew. of sponsors, visit

IMPACT The funds raised at the Purple Tie Ball will help WINGS to continue to provide highquality facilities, intensive client support, and integrated continuum of housing and services to victims and survivors of domestic violence in the Chicagoland area.

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CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM: 26th Anniversary Chicago History Museum Making History Awards Virtual Event The Chicago History Museum celebrated seven distinguished honorees who have left their mark on Chicago at the 26th Anniversary Making History Awards on Oct. 6 during a virtual ceremony. The Making History Awards, which began in 1995, raise vital financial support for the museum’s operations and programs and pay tribute to the lasting positive of Chicago leaders in arts and culture, sports, business and civic life, who have made our city a more vibrant place to live. Honorees at the event, which raised $900,000, include Edward J. Wehmer, who was awarded the Cyrus McCormick Making History Award for Historic Corporate Achievement and Dr. Joanne C. Smith, who received the Enrico Fermi Making History Award for Distinction in Science, Medicine, and Technology award. This year’s sponsors include co-chairs Exelon, the Lavin Family Foundation and Wintrust, and vice-chairs Abbott, the Crown Family, and Bon and Holly French. To view the full list of sponsors, visit

Edward J. Wehmer (center), Founder and CEO of Wintrust Financial Corporation wins the The Cyrus McCormick Making History Award for Historic Corporate Achievement.

IMPACT In addition to honoring extraordinary contributions to the city each year, this event also allows the museum to continue their mission to tell Chicago stories through a vast collection of artifacts, innovative exhibits, public programs, tours and web-based education.

BRUSHWOOD CENTER: 37th annual Smith Nature Symposium The Brushwood Center’s Smith Nature Symposium memorializes the significant civic legacy of Hermon Dunlap and Ellen Thorne Smith, who donated their land and cabin to help form Ryerson Woods. This year’s event honored journalists and activists Bill McKibben and Sue Halpern, who have influenced millions of young people through their writing and activism on behalf of nature, democracy, and the climate. This year’s event, the 37th annual Symposium, was held virtually and has more than 2,000 views on YouTube. “We saw the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded on planet earth this summer—130 degrees in California—that presaged this spate of forest fires. We have to start working together in really deep and powerful ways if we’re to have any hope of surmounting these problems,” McKibben said. The event raised more than $80,000 to support Brushwood Center’s COVID-19 response. Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra served as Masters of Ceremony for the event, facilitating a substantive 30-minute interview with honorees McKibben and Halpern. They were joined by other national Performance of meditations by Philippe Quint and Vladimir Kulenovic leaders in climate action including for the event. Robert Redford and Sibylle Szaggars Redford (2018 Honorees), Amory Lovins and Judy Hill Lovins (2019 Honorees), Congressman Sean Casten, and three young leaders from the Waukegan-based Cool Learning Experience. The Symposium also honored Brushwood Center’s Environmental Youth Leadership Award Recipient, Elijah Washington. Just 12 years old, Washington presented at the August Smith Nature Symposium roundtable, “Our Future Speaks.” Elijah’s nature name is Northern Shrike and he is passionate about the Environment, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, peace and justice. Learn more at

IMPACT Volunteers helping organize backpacks for children. The Brushwood Center helps connect people to art and nature. The center pays special attention to children from lowincome families who need summer enrichment, access to the outdoors, and social-emotional support as well as veterans struggling with depression and anxiety need coping resources and senior citizens living in isolation who crave stimulation and interaction.

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ILLINOIS HOLOCAUST MUSEUM & EDUCATION CENTER: Virtual Soireé The Illinois Holocaust Museum hosted

its annual Soireé online this year on Sept. 2. The Soireé is the Women Leadership Committee’s (WLC) signature fundraising event—but this year is the first time they were not able to gather in person. Despite this challenge, the night was a huge success. The WLC entertained, enlightened and educated more than 1,100 guests online and raising $250,000 to support the Museum’s mission to combat hatred, prejudice, and indifference, in line with their founding principle to “remember the past, transform the future.”. “With racism and antisemitism on the rise, connecting the lessons of the Holocaust to the present day is more urgent than ever,” said Museum CEO, Susan Abrams, whom Better named one of 2019’s most powerful women in Chicago. “While the Museum focuses on education and awareness, social events such as the Soirée are another way to work toward our mission.” Emceed by Candace Jordan, the evening also featured performances by “The Voice Finalist’ Katie Kadan, Jewish musical artist Laurie Akers, cantors from North Shore congregations, and singers from the Bright Star Church of Chicago. Celebrities including Sharon Stone, Katie Couric, and Bonnie Hunt also chimed in to support the mission of the Museum. Learn more at

Katie Kadan, a finalist on NBC’s The Voice, performs at the Soireé.

IMPACT Pictured: Inside the Notorious RBG special exhibit at the museum. The WLC will specifically allocate funds from this event to support upcoming special exhibitions, field trips to the Museum (virtual and in-person) for students in under-served communities, Law Enforcement Action and Democracy (LEAD) Training and educational programs for college students.

YWCA EVANSTON/NORTH SHORE: YWomen 2020 Because of the pandemic, YWCA Evanston/North Shore, a non-profit social justice organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, did not hold their annual YWomen Leadership Celebration. The annual celebration recognizes and celebrates women leaders in the community for their commitment to women’s advancement and racial justice In lieu of this year’s celebration, efforts were focused on the YWomen2020 Campaign, which

YWCulinary 2019 Graduates

raised funds for YWCA Domestic Violence Services and Women’s Leadership and Economic Advancement programs. $81,940 was raised September for the campaign. “We are grateful for the generosity of our community, especially this year when domestic violence has increased and so many are suffering from economic insecurity,” said Karen Singer, YWCA Evanston/North Shore CEO. “We couldn’t come together to celebrate women’s leadership but are so thankful for all those who came together to help build foundational support for vulnerable women.” Allstate, Thermoflex, Wintrust, and Better, annual sponsors of the YWomen Leadership Celebration, turned their sponsorships into donations to the campaign. Funding for YWomen provides safety, support services, financial education, mentoring, job training, and housing assistance for women—essential tools that women need to build selfsufficient lives, especially during the current pandemic.

IMPACT YWCulinary (pictured) and YWeb help women gain the skills they need to secure in-demand jobs. Proceeds from the campaign, which was launched because they could not hold their annual YWomen Leadership Celebration gala, support the organization’s domestic violence and women’s economic advancement programs. MAKE IT BETTER: For more inspiring success stories, matching grant opportunities, deserving nonprofits to support, and easy ways you can help those in need right now, visit

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A Reason to Celebrate DURING SUCH A HARD TIME for many businesses, our Best of 2020 winners welcomed the chance to celebrate. As we move into a new season, let’s continue to show our support and appreciation for our beloved local treasures. Order take-out, tip generously, shop locally online. These businesses are the backbone of our community, and it is vital that we help them weather this pandemic storm.


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CLASSIC + FRESH Having served in the North Shore community for over 100 years, Chalet is your one-stop destination for creating joyous memories and traditions for your friends and family. Visit Chalet for everything you need to bring the magic and the beauty of the season into your home.

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